Locked Rooms, at Toi Pōneke Gallery is the latest exhibition of contemporary jeweller, Nik Hanton. Hanton’s graphic style and emphasis on the making process result in strikingly modern jewellery that is garnering attention both at home and abroad.
Opening on June 2, Locked Rooms is the artist’s first solo show since completing her Bachelor of Applied Arts majoring in Contemporary Jewellery at Whitireia. Hanton, who has previously studied sociology and psychology, says the series of objects and neck pieces, some unwearable, explore our inner worlds and private truths.
Made almost exclusively from materials more commonly associated with construction – concrete, steel and wood for example – the exhibition approaches the notion of jewellery in an unexpected way.
"In this series I use raw materials that are traditionally in the realm of DIY. Growing up in 1970’s provincial Aotearoa meant, for me, that I spent more time in building-yards than I did in playgrounds. This has a strong influence on my work," says Hanton.
"Locked Rooms is a concept-driven show, and an example of the continued rise in popularity of contemporary jewellery in New Zealand. Our particular focus on unusual materials and processes keeps new and interesting things happening”.
Hanton’s fascination with humanity, and what it means to be human, is evident in this body of work. Her careful naming of pieces offers the viewer a glimpse of her psyche, hinting at hidden truths.
The Toi Pōneke show follows a busy year for the Wellington jeweller who took part in numerous exhibitions around the country, while simultaneously completing her final year of study.
Hanton’s hard work has paid off in droves; she has recently been selected to exhibit at the prestigious international graduate show at in the largest contemporary jewellery gallery in the world, The Netherlands Galerie Marzee. Closer to home the jeweller has been asked to participate in the Fingers Graduate Award show, and the Objectspace national graduate show.