Toi Pōneke jeweller-in-residence turns trade to treasure

12 March 2015

Emerging contemporary jeweller Fran Carter has been selected as this year’s Whitireia artist-in-residence at the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre and is on the lookout for your unwanted jewellery.

Daydreaming - necklace by Fran Carter

Daydreaming - necklace by Fran Carter


Last year Fran cast junk – scavenged from beaches and city streets – into contemporary jewellery. This year, she is calling on people to contribute their unwanted sterling silver jewellery to allow the creation of accessible works of art.

“I am interested in engaging with the public through trade to carry out this project and to generate an experience for people to feel a part of something they will see materialise into an exhibition.”

Having recently completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts at Whitireia NZ where she majored in contemporary jewellery, Fran is looking forward to embarking on her residency while pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts. 

Fran attributes the success of her graduate year to the support she received from peers and tutors along with her highly honed organisational skills and allowing herself to work with intuition as her guide.

These strengths will be called upon this year as she plans to embark on projects that will call for public participation.

“I am interested in spanning my practice into other mediums and forms such as collaboration in order to express my vision of how contemporary jewellery can be related to. I am excited to be working in a new environment at Toi Pōneke where there is a humming creative network of artists and the greater community on my doorstep.”

Alongside her studies in 2014, Fran’s work was selected for several exhibitions featured at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Pataka, and The Dowse. Her work was also exhibited in Germany at Galerie Handwerk with the touring exhibition Wunderrūma – the largest exhibition of New Zealand contemporary jewellery to travel Europe, curated by well-known jewellers Karl Fritsch and Warwick Freeman.

Fran also produced her first solo exhibition Domestic in Nature at The Outer Space in Wellington’s Trade Hall. The exhibition was well received with media coverage in Sunday Star Times and Dominion Post’s My Life magazine.

Fran will continue to exhibit in selected group exhibitions this year, including Wunderrūma at the Auckland Art Gallery and is already planning a collaborative exhibition with fellow jewellers for September in Melbourne.

The results of Fran’s time in residence will culminate in a two week solo exhibition at Toi Pōneke Gallery this November. Details and dates will be announced closer to the time.

Fran Carter would like to turn your jewellery cast offs into contemporary objects of beauty – if you are interested contact her via email or pop into Toi Pōneke, 61 Able Smith St.