WORN LAND: Four Contemporary Jewellers in the Pilbara
The raw beauty of the North West is evoked in new work created by four prominent Australian contemporary jewellers for FORM’s latest exhibition, Worn Land. Artists Yuko Fujita, Nicky Hepburn, Pennie Jagiello, and Natalia Milosz-Piekarska, travelled with FORM to the Pilbara to produce jewellery and objects influenced by this stunning regional environment and by the people who live there.
Following residencies in 2014 and 2015, these Melbourne-based jewellers crafted a new body of work inspired by the rich and vibrant landscapes of the region and the profound impact they have on both those who visit and live in the Pilbara.
Exhibition curator Mollie Hewitt said Worn Land explored the disorientating intersection of desire and displacement that can accompany non-Indigenous experiences of place in Australia.
Throughout their residencies in the Pilbara, Fujita, Hepburn, Jagiello, and Milosz- Piekarska ventured into some of the most isolated parts of northern Western Australia. Working both with and in response to materials found within these places, the resident jewellers developed works that explore the relationship between the body and these remote environments.
The artists each explore themes and subjects which were of particular significance to their personal experience of the Pilbara. Fujita’s works were inspired by the environment’s dramatic contrasts, of colour, texture, scale. “My work is about admiration and respect for voiceless life that I saw in the sublime beauty of the landscape in Pilbara,” Fujita said. “ I visualised their whispering in figurative wearable objects so that we can feel the connection.”
Hepburn researched and developed artworks made substantially from naturally materials, creating bracelets out of coral, necklaces out of iconic Pilbara red dirt, and rings from spinifex twigs. Jagiello’s works look at the dichotomies evident in the relationship between industry and nature, explored specifically through her exclusive use of discarded man-made materials. And Milosz-Piekarska explores the effects and power of colour in the geography and industry that permeates the Pilbara's horizons.
The immersive exhibition presents jewellery items that invite viewers to look closely, and opens on 22 September 2016, with all four jewellers in attendance. Following its time at The Goods Shed the exhibition will tour to Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery in February 2017, with a national tour to follow.