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Flourish

From halted beginnings at the GSA we are almost at the end. Myself and the other six Artists in Residence are holding our end of residency exhibition- which opens tomorrow!  It is at Welcome Home which is situated in the CCA (Centre for Conteporary Art) building on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. You can see us in the April 2019 Designers Maker of the Month section. The show will also be travelling to Melbourne to be a part of the Craft Victoria exhibition schedule in September in the Member’s Vitrine Gallery. It will feature in the Radiant Pavilion Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial as well which is very exciting!

My work experienced a few twists and turns before I settled on the pieces I have made for this show. I was honoured to be given access to some sandstone from the fire-damaged Mackintosh building to use. I immediately began exploring ways to take readings from the stone without damaging the dressed face of the stones I had. There is a beautiful ripple effect that is transferred to the metal from the stone. I tested out some copper and then some sterling silver. I also created some silicone moulds of the stone for future reference and tested out some porcelain pieces.

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Holding pieces of the stone, researching more about ‘The Mack’ building and learning about sandstone prompted me to work more directly with the stone. This meant some of the stone needed to be broken down. I did this in a few ways… I took one of the big pieces down to the Scottish Lapidary and Mineral Club to get sliced. They were so great to chat with and it is such an amazing club. From the slices, I was able to further process the stone with a proper stone chisel into small pieces. But I also have a bigger piece that I have left as a nice large slice for a neckpiece.

This is just an initial post to show you my material. I will update further with more of my process, experiments and my final and proposed future pieces soon. If you are in Glasgow, come along to our opening tomorrow- 4pm to 7pm at 350 Sauchiehall St!

FLOURISH

Back in Scotland

I have been in a whirlwind lately! Since September I have taken up a position as Artist in Residence with the Jewellery and Silversmithing department at the Glasgow School of Art. This has meant packing up and renting out our house in Australia, moving to Scotland and setting up here. We had a little bit of a delay in getting into the studios at GSA as the Reid building sits right alongside the Mackintosh building that was once again devastated in a fire earlier this year.

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Looking out from the Reid Building at the main entrance that is out of commission due to the extreme mass of scaffolding holding up the Mack building.

I have a bench and access to all of the jewellery and silversmithing equipment and I am slowly getting organised and finding where I can set up for making glass. I am dearly missing my studio and my glass machines that I couldn’t bring with me, like my glass crusher, kiln and lapidary wheel. I have set up my lampworking torch and have just started to get going on making beads and some small test pieces for an idea that is brewing. I am curious to see what will unfold this year with my work and how I might go without the equipment I am used to. I have to admit to this being a little frustrating as I have been exploring ways of working with recycled glass and pâte de verre that has been producing some great results. It seems that this might have to go on hold for a little while.

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Recycled Glass Brooches 2018

I have been out seeing some of the gorgeous Scottish wilds while I have had the chance. This has been invigorating, calming and inspiring all in perfect measure. From standing stones and burial cairns, to rock carvings and hillfort ruins, incredible views, grand castles and little white cottages in the valley as well as lots and lots of walking, I have been reminded with force why I love it here.  A few pics from out and about…in a random assortment of some kind of order.

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Oh Canada!

Recently I was lucky enough to take part in an amazing Artist residency in Canada. It was a botanical research arts residency with Ayatana and was held in Québec, Canada. Getting together with a small group of artists who all share a passion for plants, gardens and all things botanical was so great. We all got to geek out over the shape of leaves and walk through beautiful forests without being hurried! Led by the fabulous Alyssa Ellis, we visited some special places and got to meet incredible people who are extremely knowledgeable about their passions. Whether it was lichen identification and preservation of plant specimens, tree detective work, DNA sampling, seed saving, herbal medicine and wild foraging, moss gardens and energy botany through to bio-dynamic vineyards, native species gardens, poison plants and botanical illustration, each day was filled with visits relating to plantlife.  More about these experts can be found here.

Not only did we forge a great circle of friendship that will most definitely carry through in each of our lives, we were nurtured and fed so well that we all felt very blessed to be a part of such a great experience.

 

MADE IT!!!!!

There has been a long break between posts this year. I have been studying at RMIT University, Melbourne and completing my Honours year of my BA of Art (Fine Art) and along with a busy year of shows and an internship has all but consumed my life and everything attached to it! I have now completed my assessment schedule and with only the Grad Show to finalise, I am done. There has been a lot of writing involved with the course which is perhaps the reason I haven’t kept up the posts on here so well. This year has been full of pushing and pulling and sometimes dragging myself all over the place. It has been challenging and wonderful. And frustrating and completely draining. I have been able to participate in local and international shows, an internship, as well as sneak in a few commissions that took way too long to complete. I am feeling quite proud of myself and I am so glad that I went back to study and complete this course that I had dreamed of doing for a long time.

In July I was part of show called in between, with a fabulous group of artists at the Creative Spaces exhibition space called The Dirty Dozen. The space is a series of cabinets that span the subway of Campbell Arcade leading to/from Flinders Street Station and Degraves Lane in the Melbourne CBD. You can see the full list of artists’ work on the instagram page titled @in_between_2017, but here are a few little snaps of mine during set up time.

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My work selected for the Dirty Dozen show. Recycled glass, flax, sterling silver. 2017

2017 was also a year that hosted the biennial programs of Radiant Pavilion (which our Dirty Dozen show was a part of); Graduate Metal XV that was held as a part of Making Out, the JMGA conference presented in partnership with RMIT University School of Art, the National Gallery of Victoria and Radiant Pavilion (for which I also was a volunteer to help with the running of the program); and Contemporary Wearables ’17 at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery (I was selected to be a part of this prestigious show). As if this wasn’t enough to manage while in the depths of my study I was also accepted into the annual Marzee International Graduates Show which is held at the fabulous Gallerie Marzee in the Netherlands. This gallery has also included my work in a follow on exhibition as part of the Dutch Jewellery Festival exhibiting at Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen.

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                  The Marzee International Graduate Show 2017                                  image from http://www.marzee.nl/galerie/start/#previous 

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                 The Marzee International Graduate Show 2017                                 image from http://www.marzee.nl/galerie/start/#previous 

Wrapping up the year of exhibitions was a show with Gabbee Stolp at RMIT’s First Site Gallery. It was called To The Future Lost and is a follow on exhibition from our show last year, Memorials To The Future Lost. It was a show about our Australian Endangered and Critically endangered wildlife and the impact of man. In a mausoleum style setting we provided a space to contemplate and reflect on the ways in which human impact affects our unique flora and fauna. Here are some images from the exhibition.

Christmas Island Pipestrelle(Extinct 2009), Gabbee Stolp, 2016  /  Peophila cincta cincta Vs Adani, Michelle Stewart, 2017  /  Marked with an X – Leadbeater’s Possum, Michelle Stewart, 2017

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Thylacine_Michelle Stewart and Gabbee Stolp

Thylacine (Extinct 1936) Gabbee Stolp and Michelle Stewart, 2017

Thylacine 2_Michelle Stewart and Gabbee Stolp

close up Thylacine (Extinct 1936)

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Mine/Mining 6 & 7 and 8, EPBA scales, Michelle Stewart, 2017

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Greater Glider (Endangered), Gabbee Stolp, 2017

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Greater Stick Nest Rat (Endangered), Gabbee Stolp, 2017

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Mountain Galaxias(Endangered) I, II & III, Gabbee Stolp, 2016

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Marked with an X – The Leadbeater’s Possum and The Under-story, Michelle Stewart, 2017

So now with the year almost wrapped up I am looking forward to the adventures to come. I have some fun summer projects ready to start, a very special commission and I think next year will be full of exciting things!!

Halfway

It has been a long time since I have updated you on here and we are just about at the shortest day of the year. Nearly halfway! I have been busy with my honours year and having great fun with it. I have been exploring with pâte de verre with recycled glass. I attended a week long class at Blue Dog Glass with Alicia Lomné in April. Let me say, that if you ever have the opportunity to go and do a class with this lady- DO it! She is such a great teacher and she has a wealth of knowledge about glass and pâte de verre.

So here is a little photo collection of what I have been up to. I have been writing a LOT for my honours work, so forgive me that I haven’t written much here.

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Certificates and Honours

I have been enjoying the variety that this Summer has brought with the weather. Some wonderful sunny days as well as rain and sitting by the fire. I have shared some pics from a little trip to NZ in January and some explorations on the beach at Birdlings Flat in Canterbury. Shark egg casings, seaweed, rocks, little fish and that sunset.

Yes, I have completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction and have a certificate to prove it. I was also very proud to have received the Frank Klepner Memorial Award for Series Work which also means that some of my work has found it’s way into the W.E. McMillan Collection at RMIT. This is a great honour and I am so pleased to be in a collection that also houses the work of some pivotal Australian Jewellers such as Robert Baines, Susan Cohn, and of course my workshop fave Katherine Hubble who also was admitted to the collection with her Wolf Weinreich Award. (She was also accepted for Craft Victoria’s Fresh! Exhibition this year too! Grand Applause for your hard work Kate xx)

2017 – on with my Honours year to explore my own practice a little more with the help of a lot of research, soul searching, an exegesis and some hopefully interesting work.

 

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Graduation Work

At the conclusion of three years study I am now about to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Art. These are some of the works I will present for my graduation show which opens on Wednesday the 23rd of November at RMIT, Melbourne. I am very excited to have completed my BA and I have learned a great deal about myself and my work over these years. Returning to study has been an amazing journey that has enlivened and stimulated me and I am so thankful for the support that I get from a very patient Partner while I have been studying.

I am pleased with the final outcomes of my work for 2016 and proud of what I have achieved for the last three years…now on to Honours year for 2017!

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BRUMBY

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CONSTRAINT

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SACRIFICE

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FADE FROM MEMORY

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UPON REFLECTION

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size reference of works

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detail of stitching

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BROOCHES

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FIBULA

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SHOWPONY

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LIGHT HORSE

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MORE MAJORUM

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OLD BOOTS

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CELTIC CALM

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REMEMBRANCE

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PENDANTS

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KELPIE / waterhorse

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CAPTURED

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LARIAT

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