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Proof of Concept

November 4, 2023 @ 10:00 am December 20, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

Proof of Concept feature image

Proof of Concept

Denise Callan, Fiona Frew, Fran Carter, Genie Lee, Grace Yu Piper, Lisa van Hulst, Louise Hill, Nellie Peoples, Rachael Chapman, Rose Pickernell and Tūī Diprose

4 November – 20 December 2023

Opening: Saturday 4 November, 2-4pm

Artist Talk: Sunday 5 November, 1-2pm

Proof of Concept is an exhibition that marks the halfway point in a two year journey for the 11 makers taking part in HANDSHAKE 8; a professional development programme for contemporary jewellers.

HANDSHAKE sets the stage for exploration without parameters. The work showcases a diverse group, united by material play and conceptual insights. The pieces presented as ‘proof of concept’ are an invitation to see ideas, processes, materials and makers very much still in development, and to help shape their future form.

The HANDSHAKE project nurtures independent makers with innovative practices by providing them with the necessary resources, guidance, and inspiration to create unique and meaningful pieces that reflect their personal style and perspective.

Now in its 12th year, HANDSHAKE is a mentorship programme founded by award winning contemporary jeweller and teacher, Peter Deckers. The two-year schedule encourages experimentation, feedback, development, and exhibiting, providing graduate artists the chance to hone their practice whilst partaking in masterclasses and workshops with noted international guest coaches. They are then paired with a personal mentor in order to seek feedback and direction in their second year, as they work towards a final group exhibition. 

More information and current blog posts:

Proof of Concept is presented with support from Creative NZ.

About the Artists

Denise Callan 

Denise Callan is an Auckland based jewellery artist utilising the tangible to encapsulate the intangible, her work is distinctly expressive. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Jewellery design and Technology from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, she continues to explore notions of the human experience and the social constructs we operate within. Denise has exhibited at both Melbourne’s 2019 Radiant Pavilion and the Dowse Museum through collaborative Clink projects. She exhibits through Masterworks Gallery and currently teaches at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design.

Fiona Frew

Fiona Frew grew up in Rotorua but travelled extensively before settling in Kakanui, Northern Otago. Fiona completed her Master of Fine Arts, majoring in Contemporary Jewellery in 2022, from the Dunedin School of Arts, Otago Polytechnic. As an emerging artist she is proud to have her work exhibited in The 36th MARZEE International Graduate Show, Galerie Marzee, the Netherlands (2022); The Jewelry Drops, Milano Jewelry Week, Milan (2022) and a short film exhibited as Open Home I Online, Radiant Pavilion, Melbourne Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial (2021).

Fiona is inquisitive about the world of objects. Using found objects and secondhand items, pieces are created that focus on contemporary life, consumer society, the Anthropocene and feminism. The belief that art and creativity are important for everyone is a central ethos for Fiona as she creates works that are relatable, inclusive and sustainable. 

Fran Carter

Fran Carter is a Wellington based maker. She gained her BAppA majoring in Contemporary Jewellery from Whitireia NZ and went on to complete her Graduate diploma under a scholarship from the NZ Federation of Graduate Women, and was awarded a residency with Toi Pōneke Arts Centre which culminated with a major solo show in 2015, MOOP (Matter Out Of Place). 

A noted highlight in her emerging career was the invitation to take part in Wunderrūma, an iconic touring exhibition curated by Karl Fritsch & Warwick Freeman. Since that time, Fran has continued to build on her arts career and small business practice, exhibiting her work both nationally and abroad.

Fran often works intuitively, responding to the emotive musings and observations of the world around her. She is frequently drawn to explore the untapped potential in found objects with a strong interest in material transformation.

Genie Lee

Genie Lee has a Bachelors in Fine Arts & Science and a Masters in Visual Art & Education. Genie’s work is related to diaspora and people living between two worlds, exploring identity, the psychology between people and their objects, and being other. Genie uses her art practice to tell stories for people without voice or place, utilising the practices of drawing, painting, photography, performance, object making and installation. 

Genie has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and is the recipient of many awards for her photography installations and objects. Genie was one of the speakers for 15th JMGA intergenerational jewellery conference. Genie’s work has been shown in Objectspace (Auckland), International Art Fair (South Korea), Brisbane Powerhouse, Artisan (Australia) and Nelson Jewellery Week.

Grace Yu Piper

Grace Yu Piper is a Wellington-based contemporary jeweller who graduated from Whitireia in 2017 with a Bachelor of Applied Arts. She was selected to exhibit at Talente 2018 and Schmuck 2019, both held in Munich, Germany.

Grace’s practice explores the functionality of jewellery and seeks to challenge our preconceived notions of what jewellery is. Stone is her material of choice. Since beginning the HANDSHAKE project she has become interested in exploring new materials. In Proof of Concept she questions, “what happens when stone and fabric meet?”

Lisa van Hulst

Lisa van Hulst is a Wellington based artist and maker of Dutch descent. She completed a Bachelor’s degree specialising in contemporary jewellery at Whitireia Polytechnic in 2021 after having attended night classes in goldsmithing for many years. She had her first solo show at Bowen Galleries (Wellington) in 2020 and has participated in several group exhibitions including the esteemed international graduate show Intro at Gallerie Marzee in The Netherlands in 2021. Lisa’s work melds her formal technical skills with continued exploration of form, materiality and concepts of duality. 

Louise Hill

Louise Hill is a Wellington-based artist who makes colourful work using a range of media.  Louise had her first solo show, Pink Bits, in 2020.  Her work was selected for the ECC Student Design Awards at the Dowse in 2021.  She graduated from the Contemporary Jewellery programme at Whitireia in 2020.  Before pursuing her passion for making, Louise completed a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Science Research at Victoria University.  There is a feisty energy to her work, which combined with her sense of humour, allows for unique social commentary.

Nellie Peoples

Nellie Peoples is based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. She creates jewellery and small objects that tell stories of beloved people, particular places and special moments. She has a Bachelor of Design Arts with First Class Honours from the Australian National University (ANU), School of Art (2013). Nellie has a history in Architecture and Visual Anthropology, which informs her creative practice.

Nellie has exhibited in Australia, New Zealand and further afield. Several stand-out achievements include exhibiting at Talente, Internationalen Handwerkmesse, Germany (2012); her solo exhibition Making Place at Woollongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane Australia (2020); and exhibiting in Profile: Contemporary Jewellery Award, Australia Design Centre, Sydney Australia (2022).

Rachael Chapman

Rachael Chapman’s body of work for Proof of Concept is made with the word become in mind. It reflects on the intellectual, technical and emotional growth that was needed to get to the present moment. Each work is a curiosity followed, exploring material, form and function; stepping-stone iterations of understanding.

Building upon foundations in music, performance and an earlier career in floristry, Rachael is innately drawn to the construction of scaleable, mini-sculptures with modernist ideals and Deconstructivist leanings. Forms manifest with an emphasis on volume, asymmetrical composition, a rhythmic linear eloquence, and a touch of flamboyance.

After returning to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Aotearoa in 2018, after 20-plus years in London, Rachael reintegrated through the arts and tertiary learning, subsequently graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jewellery Design and Technology from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in 2022. She currently manages Masterworks Gallery.

Rose Pickernell

Rose Pickernell is a Wellington-based practising jeweller. In 2021 Rose moved South to complete a degree specialising in contemporary jewellery at the Otago Polytechnic. Her work walks the line between the brutality of material and beauty of function. Rose comes from a lineage of skilled makers and being raised by a blacksmith has heavily influenced her choice of materials and the force with which she approaches the making of these works. In this exhibition she explores the joys of decontextualising traditionally masculine trade and materials. Rose has exhibited at The Den in Christchurch with a Group exhibition Reflections and Faucets 2021. In 2023 her work featured on the front cover of the 6th issue of Island Magazine.

Tūī Diprose

Tūī Diprose is a multidisciplinary creative who finds their inspiration in spiritual rivers, fossicked in natural environments, gleaned through conversation and activated in ritual. Their making process is intuitive, conceptually led by folktales, archetypes and pūrakāu.

Tūī is a contemporary jeweller from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. They received a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Otago Polytechnic in 2019, after finishing their Diploma in Jewellery from Hungry Creek School of Art and Craft in 2017. Alongside their practice is their work in the healing arts, interweaving their art into talismans.
They have exhibited nationally and internationally: Clink Project6 at Radiant Pavilion, Melbourne; Clink Project7 in Pōneke Wellington; and Studio One Toi Tū, Tāmaki Makaurau. At present their practice is focused on HANDSHAKE8, to be completed in 2024.

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