What Would You Wear as Jewellery?

13 March 2012

A discussion about diamonds over morning coffee and the five-minute quiz resulted in Duncan Sargent and Mia Hamilton coming up with the idea for Toi Poneke Gallery's next exhibition, Lumber and Mud - Extreme Jewellery (from Friday 23 March).

Mr Sargent says the exhibition features large-scale sculptural jewellery made from wood and ceramics - moving from his usual practice of designing and making furniture to making giant jewellery from the waste packaging.

"I became intrigued by the strange twists and turns of what is valued and what is not in the jewellery world, and simultaneously decided to do something about the big pile of waste plywood in my workshop" says Sargent.

Plywood and clay are common materials of little value in our 'throwaway society'. Together with Mia Hamilton, who makes jewellery from clay, they explore the need to value these everyday materials to sustain our future.

Ms Hamilton says it has been challenging, but also fascinating, to work on the pieces for the exhibition.

"I wear jewellery every day. Art for the body is how I think of my jewels, so these pieces are an extension of that and who I am as a person and artist."

As a collector of contemporary New Zealand jewellery, Ms Hamilton finds herself struggling with her desire for unnecessary 'wants', as opposed to needs. This dilemma fuelled her desire to create a response for this exhibition.

"The idea of making big or unwearable jewellery may seem contradictory, but in our 'throwaway society' we have to relearn what precious is," she says.

Mia invites people to visit her studio at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre - any time between 10.00am and 3.00pm on Friday 23 March - to find out more about her work.

Duncan will discuss his art and design practice in a free lunchtime talk at 12 noon on Thursday 12 April at Toi Pōneke Gallery.

Lumber and Mud - Extreme Jewellery opens at 5.30pm on Thursday 22 March at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street.