Wendy Ramshaw (1939 - 2018) was a leading contemporary British studio jeweller renowned for her innovative approach to jewellery design and production. Ramshaw emerged on the international jewellery scene in the 1970s, exerting a significant influence through inspiring exhibitions, workshops and artist residencies in countries such as the USA and Australia (1978).
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Clothes we wear embody a past no matter how old or new they are. An intriguing Victorian wedding dress made of silk taffeta was selected for Love Is … Australian Wedding Fashion. This mulberry coloured dress (Fig.1) was worn by a bride in Sydney in 1887.
One of the most intriguing pieces on display in A Fine Possession: Jewellery and identity is this ‘Samurai Fish’ brooch created as part of Sheridan Kennedy’s PhD exhibition The Specious Voyages at the Museum of Brisbane in 2005.
“At present I am concerned with certain metaphysical, psychological and social aspects of jewellery-with its ability to inform and transform'. Margaret West, 1982 * Margaret West was an influential jeweller, lecturer as well as poet and writer.
The hei-tiki is the most famous of all Maori jewellery items. Humanoid in shape, they are typically characterised by a tilting head, huge, gaping open mouth, large, bulbous eyes, splayed hips with arms akimbo and a pronounced and often dilated vulval area (Starzeka 1996: p.43)*.
Pictured on-site, amidst the installation of A Fine Possession, Rebecca Ellis is seen positioning the mount for the neckpiece by Susan Cohn. Once the mount had been positioned and fixed into place on the fabric covered PET panel, the neckpiece was secured onto the mount.
Every now and again when working with a Museum’s collection, you will come across an object that was acquired so long ago that little is known about its provenance. There are a few meagre clues to help uncover what you hope will turn out to be an enriching and surprising story, something that shows that this piece is special.
This ring shares characteristics with other magnificent gold object for which the Asante goldsmiths are fanmous. From the records we are almost certain this glorious golden ring from Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) collection originated in Ghana.
One of the striking things I have discovered while researching Australian and international jewellery in preparation for the exhibition A fine possession: jewellery and identity, is the way in which the contemporary Australian jewellery scene has been shaped by European tradition.
Since the late 19th century, the Museum has collected a select and representative range of Pacific material culture - namely, body ornament, clubs, implements of daily use, textiles and dress - from the island regions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
This week we start installing this Museum’s most ambitious jewellery exhibition ever. Celebrating the central place of jewellery in cultures from antiquity to now, A fine possession: jewellery and identity will present over 700 pieces of jewellery from Australia, Europe, USA, Asia, Africa and the Pacific which were made and/or worn and collected in Australia.The exhibition opens at the Museum on 24 September.