The University of Johannesburg Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) Gallery, Creative Feel and the Contemporary Jewellery Forum congratulate Marlene de Beer, the winner of the annual 2019 SA Contemporary Jewellery Awards.
Marlene de Beer is a jewellery lecturer at the Durban University of Technology. She received the coveted award for her expressive jewellery pieces titled, Finger tips and Collar and Cuffs. The runner-up prize was awarded to another lecturer in jewellery, Carine Terreblanche, from the University of Stellenbosch – for her highly conceptual sculptural wood pieces titled The Wall of Remembrance of Small Things, The Status of Lost Liberty and The Lost Thought. Tracey Jane Lotter received the special mention award for a set of deconstructed rings, Transition 1-3.
The awards exhibition, held at the FADA Gallery on the Bunting Road Campus of the University of Johannesburg, showcased 47 art jewellery pieces, exploring a wide range of concepts and ideas, including materials and finishes. The organisers, including founding members of the Contemporary Jewellery Forum, all agree that the quality of work on this year’s awards exhibition, the second of its kind, was of a higher standard. Laying the foundation for growth and development in this highly specialised creative art discipline – celebrating body adornment. Wearable art provides artists and, in particular, jewellers an opportunity to express themselves in a variety of ways with a broad range of traditions, materials and new technologies to embrace in the 21st century.
The participants, winners and organisers of this, the 2019 Contemporary Jewellery Awards Exhibition, wish to thank our media partner, Creative Feel, for their support in promoting this new creative initiative in fostering an appreciation for this highly creative field of cultural production.
MARLENE DE BEER The set of ten silver ‘finger tips’ were created through lost wax casting and made to ‘fit’ a specific pair of hands. I produced wax impressions by dipping my fingertips into hot liquid wax, and after casting, utilised the metal sprues to file small ‘balls’ on the tips of the caps that were embellished with red embroidery cotton.
The personal nature of individual wearable ‘finger tips’ corresponds to the notion of self-reflexivity and the conventional relationship of jewellery to the body. Metal caps, with ball shaped tips and embroidery cotton, also challenge the notion of wearability. When worn, the metal finger tips restrain the extent to which the wearer can use her hands to perform everyday tasks, rendering them a passive cultural reproducer. This reflects the restrictive and oppressive impact of normative societal and cultural norms on women. The silver finger tips and embroidery cotton reflect the notion of embodiment and interrogate conventional relations of adornment of the female body.
CARINE TERREBLANCHE As a contemporary jeweller, my research interests include deconstructing the stereotypes of conventional or traditional jewellery and objects within a South African context. My work thus challenges the traditional approaches to goldsmithing and jewellery. In my research, I have often explored the boundaries between jewellery and sculpture, and in doing so, I have questioned the body-object relationship. Most of my jewellery pieces could double up as objects or sculptures, depending on the way they are displayed or framed.
In my creative process, freely associated drawings with ink on paper are interpreted as three-dimensional metal and wooden pieces. I allow myself to be led by my materials, as far as possible, and thus some decisions are made intuitively. In a new investigation that I started at the beginning of 2019, I intend to take my previous exploration further – crafting the same pieces in different sizes with different materials, questioning the role size plays in creating meaning and value. In playful pieces, I want to probe issues of scale.
TRACEY JANE LOTTER I have made a series of rings, using a combination of 3-D technology and hand-carved resin. The patterns designed in CAD are exposed by the resin, creating an intricate contrast between the semi-precious metals and colour.
Here, I have taken a conceptual approach, breaking down the CAD process, as the ring transitions from one stage to the next. I have used a floor plan aesthetic to highlight the integral structure.
Transition 1 – Extruded shapes and depressions are built onto the surface of a ring.
Transition 2 – The outer sections of the ring is shaped.
Transition 3 – All shaping and patterns have been refined and resin fills the negative space.