Radiant Pavilion 2017: Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial

Radiant Pavilion Occupation Artist, Golden Section, 2016 (detail), gold leaf applied to parking space, 6m x 3m - photo by Kelly McDonaldAfter its huge success in 2015, Radiant Pavilion returns to Melbourne bringing together over 200 leading and emerging Australian and international artists from Saturday 26 August to Sunday 3 September 2017.

Melbourne has a thriving hub of contemporary jewellery makers alongside Amsterdam and Munich. With a rich tradition and comprehensive offering, it is home to a diverse and generous community of artists, galleries and studios.

Radiant Pavilion brings a stunning array of 80 events in and around Melbourne across 62 venues, featuring the work of Robert Baines, David Bielander, Liv Boyle, Helen Britton, Susan Cohn, David Huycke, Inari Kiuru, Vicki Mason, Lindy McSwan, Manon van Kouswijk, Sam Mertens, Yutaka Minegishi, Prue Venables and many others.

Discover a lane paved in gold leaf, the joy of sake out of handmade cups, explore contemporary jewellery as a gesture of greeting and the ways jewellery is used to make a promise to another. RMIT’s Francis Ormond statue will be made splendid with fine adornment, a swarm of unidentified insects take up residence and discover jewellery left out in the street. This and so much more.

Co-directors, Claire McArdle and Chloë Powell have curated an inventive and exciting program including street works, exhibitions, performances, installations, artist talks, masterclasses and open studios.

“We wanted to bring together a program of events that show the breadth and depth of jewellery making here in Australia and across the world,” they say. “Artists have responded overwhelmingly, and this year we have been able to bring more events in this week-long celebration of jewellery and object making.”

Highlights of the Radiant Pavilion 2017 program include:

Gallery Funaki, in collaboration with RMIT, showcases the work of David Bielander (CH), Helen Britton (AU) and Yutaka Minegishi (JP).  These internationally respected artists studied together at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, one of the world’s most respected academies for art.  In 2002, they set up a joint studio from which each has developed a highly regarded international practice. Though each has an entirely distinct visual language, they have exhibited as a group on several occasions, drawing together their disparate approaches to a cohesive presentation marked by a highly crafted, innovative approach to materials and rigor of personal research.

Katrina Tyler’s solo exhibition of wearable and sculptural pieces that capture and evoke the dilapidated beauty, systematic order and quirky structures I’m drawn to in the industrial landscape in and around the west of Melbourne. The works will explore and recontextualise a language of form, scale, material, colour, structure and juxtapositions gleaned from these landscapes in order to renegotiate the viewer’s relationship to industry, and muse on elements and moments of beauty and interest to be found.

Four jewellers – Amelia Marks, Dunnielle Mina, Karina Leddin and Kellie Joy Barnes – respond to the idea of the city as devoid of natural beauty and explore the potential for connectedness and interplay between people, the natural environment and urban spaces. This installation explores the possibility of finding solace, regeneration and respite in a forgotten laneway in the heart of Fitzroy.

Island Welcome
Exploring contemporary jewellery as a gesture of greeting, Island Welcome is inspired by the respectful ceremonial honouring of a welcome garland found in many traditional island cultures. Each jeweller – Jane Bowden, Michelle Cangiano, Jess Dare, Nicky Hepburn, Kath Inglis, Vicki Mason, Belinda Newick & Lauren Simeoni will design and make a single welcome garland/neckpiece interpreting the theme of ‘welcome’ – in response to current Australian immigration and refugee policy.

Labour Exchange
Over 8 years, more than 100 jewellery works have been thoughtfully carved out of what was once Renée Ugazio’s jewellery bench. Labour Exchange questions the values embedded in jewellery practice and production. Each item is offered and open to be traded for an item, activity or dollar value of your choosing. This poses the questions, ‘How do you value this item?’ and ‘What would you trade for it?’ 5 hours of gardening? A dinner with your family? Something you have made? The choice is yours… The exhibition will house the items for trade and an evolving record of the exchanges made.

New Colony
Liv Boyle’s public installation plays out an imagined evolutionary scenario – a swarm of unidentified insects take up residence on the façade of Workshop 3000. Something like flies, something like krill. Masters of camouflage in their polluted tidal habitat, with an aptitude for growing an impressive pin-like stinger, these crafty arthropods have fashioned brightly coloured protective body armour from micro plastics and other debris, carefully salvaged from their marine environment. This latest body of work continues her experimental approach in transforming common plastic waste into something meaningful.

Paved with Gold
At Radiant Pavilion 2015, Occupation: Artist occupied Crossley Street through a gentle invasion of the shop fronts and street-scape. In 2017, they return to Crossley Street with a more direct focus on the lane itself. The work is a development of Golden Section – a project they performed at the Wellington Sculpture Trust’s Parking Day in 2016 – where they gold-leafed an entire parking space throughout the day. The use of gold leaf has multiple references beyond ‘jewelleryness’ including economic (the value of CBD land), artistic (its traditional use in architecture) and historical (the Ballarat gold rush).

Melbourne Tailoresses’ Union Triptych
Justine Fletcher’s exhibition of 2483 individually-cast resin pendants suspended, each represents a signatory recorded in the Melbourne Tailoresses’ Strike Book of 1882-83. The strike is considered instrumental in the establishment of the Shops Commission and the Factory Act. Each pendant includes a fabric scrap donated by a current female union member, linking past to present. 2483 is the latest in a series examining the dynamic of individual and group, and is a comment on contemporary times – the meaning of strikes, protests, petitions.

Talismans for Travel at Adelphi Hotel
A talisman can be any object that we inscribe with the power to affect our emotions or surroundings. Despite monumental changes in the way we travel, the act of leaving home still evokes atavistic pleasures and anxieties. Exhilarating, arduous, mundane and rewarding, travel offers moments of both heady independence and profound human connection. Bookended by movement, we seek stillness: a temporary home. This exhibition will explore the ways in which contemporary jewellery can give physical and artistic expression to the ubiquitous desire for safe passage and a sense of place, in the pursuit of new worlds.

Radiant Pavilion 2017 runs 26 August to 3 September at various venues across Melbourne. For more information and full program, visit: www.radiantpavilion.com.au for details.

Image: Occupation: Artist, Golden Section, 2016 (detail), gold leaf applied to parking space, 6m x 3m – photo by Kelly McDonald