Artists Bring Contemporary Jewellery to Toi Pōneke Gallery

28 April 2014

In Plan B: The Accursed Items, Taylor and Thomas respond to J. Robert Lennon’s short story The Accursed Items about the many lives of everyday objects.

The latest neakware from Caroline Thomas titled Kazimir

Kazimir 2014 – Caroline Thomas

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You know the drawer in your house that's overflowing with old receipts, dead batteries, extension cords and keys to long forgotten locks?  In PLAN B - The Accursed Items, contemporary jewellers Chloe Rose Taylor and Caroline Thomas take the clutter of such inanimate objects and consider the many identities an object may experience as it passes through different hands and homes.

Thomas and Taylor were inspired by The Accursed Items, a short story by American writer J. Robert Lennon, who has given permission for the piece to be included in the show's catalogue.  Caroline says when she first heard the story in a radio podcast. “It immediately resonated with me as both a maker of objects and a lover of language. I was thrilled when Chloe found it equally inspiring and doubly thrilled when the author emailed me his permission, ‘Sure, why not? What an unexpected use for that piece! So glad you liked the story—permission granted.’”

The exhibition came about in 2013 when Taylor and Thomas were in their last year of jewellery design at Whitireia and wanted to show their work together. Both artists have a busy year ahead that sees them exhibiting in group and individual shows at several noted venues around the country, including: The SeeHere, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Quoil, The Service Depot and Pataka in Wellington; Fingers, Objectspace and Masterworks in Auckland; and The National in Christchurch.

Taylor and Thomas see PLAN B - The Accursed Items at Toi Pōneke as being a keystone in their progress as emerging artists. Arts Advisor Jodie Dalgleish believes the two artists respond in different ways to an imaginative text that opens an exciting space for a contemporary jewellery show. “Engaging with ideas of ‘the object,’ modes of adornment and an expanded field of museological display, The Accursed Items takes the opportunity to creatively explore our more intimate world.”

Chloe's series of works springs from one particular description in Lennon's story, of an icicle placed in a freezer by a child. “My intension is to express a child-like sense of magic and excitement through my choice of materials.” To achieve this Chloe uses polystyrene, glow in the dark polymer clay, wood, cord and glitter to evoke the mystery and transience of childhood and of ice itself.

Caroline's works often incorporate found objects and explore in a more abstract way the idea of an inanimate item inhabiting different lives. Objects picked up while beachcombing are transformed into adornment and leftover materials from previous projects are melded into a brand new existence.

PLAN B - The Accursed Items opens at 5.30pm on 9 May 2014 at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street.