When you think of the purpose of steel often what comes to mind are engineering feats like the Eiffel Tower or the Harbour Bridge. The art of contemporary jewellery is changing this notion by using steel in multiple ways to transform dirty metals into beautiful and pristine objects and designs. The ‘Forces’ (Fluidity and strength in contemporary jewellery and object practice using steel – the dirty metal) is a contemporary steel art exhibition at the Studio 20/17 Project Space in North Sydney that is currently showcasing the works of several jewellery and object makers who choose to reflect through their art everything from the strengths and weaknesses of the natural world to current political matters and the contemplation of our every day lives. Curated by Melbourne artist Sarah Heyward this intriguing exhibition has seven artists who will demonstrate how they can transform steel into pieces of art with free talks, workshops and process demonstrations for the public to learn more about this fascinating craft.
Co-founder of Studio 20/17 Project Space and contemporary jewellery maker Bridget Kennedy spoke to City Hub about what makes steel attractive to these creative artisans: “ From the makers point of view it’s interesting how many qualities, patterns and rust you can get from it; it’s also a much cheaper material if you’re going to be working in a large scale, you can get interesting surface qualities with quenching oils that you can’t really get with more traditional precious metals like silver so you can get more lovely dark, rich black interesting surface qualities”. This exhibition will expand your horizon to all the possibilities of using an industrial material we often don’t think of as something delicate and beautiful.
Until May 27. Studio 20/17 Project Space, 53 Ridge Street, North Sydney. Info: www.projectspace.studio2017.com.au
By Daniel Jaramillo.