RMIT Design Hub Presents: Lisa Walker and All the jewellery

29 JANUARY – 04 MAY 2019

RMIT Design Hub will examine some significant questions surrounding contemporary jewellery this summer with two upcoming exhibitions Lisa Walker: She wants to go to her bedroom but she can’t be bothered and All the jewellery, running from 29 January until 4 May at RMIT Design Hub Gallery.

She wants to go to her bedroom but she can’t be bothered is a retrospective of the practice of internationally renowned New Zealand jeweller Lisa Walker.

Lisa will present over 200 works spanning her career from her student days until today, in the largest exhibition presented by the jeweller in Australia. Lisa’s vast body of work is a career-length conversation with the question: what is jewellery?

Lisa’s jewellery is simultaneously wearable and unwearable, precious and non-precious, skilfully and not skilfully made; it is in dialogue with jewellery’s past, as well as current social and political issues and, sometimes, it strives to be meaningless. Her jewellery is controversial in many of the moves it makes, but now, nearly 30 years after she began making work, Lisa’s radical gestures have become part of the establishment.

When asked about the unconventional title of the exhibition, Lisa commented:

“The title is about time. It touches on many aspects of life, how fast we work, the tempo of our lives, downtime, technology and the extra, or wasted time it now gives us. It reminds me too of the recent revolution of ‘mindfulness’ – the adult colouring in books you can now buy to relax with, or the yoga and meditation industries that are growing”.

The retrospective tracks how Lisa’s research practice continues to query the tools, methods and materials for making jewellery and how it appropriates and transforms its multiple influences. Lisa’s research practice, positioned around the history, future and boundaries of jewellery, takes us into the realm of extremes with the aim of making jewellery, and our encounter of it, more alive.

All the jewellery is an exhibition that exists in relationship to Lisa’s retrospective, curated by Kate Rhodes and Nella Themelios. It is an exhibition of workshops tackling key questions about contemporary jewellery. This discursive exhibition brings together a community of jewellers and people who make jewellery, gallerists and collectors and those in the professions that support jewellery-making into a weekly conversation.

Each week one question will be publicly debated each week and the responses will take multiple forms: discussions, mass gatherings and performances. All the jewellery is an expansive equivalent to Lisa’s show in the number of participants and the vast terrain of ideas and perspectives. Workshops for All the jewellery will be held on Wednesdays, 12:30 – 1:30pm at Design Hub Gallery.

Both exhibitions are part of Melbourne Design Week organised by the National Gallery of Victoria in collaboration with Creative Victoria and Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF).

During Melbourne Design Week, artistic corporate entity Debris Facility will present performative discourse about intimate objects and constructions of identity. During VAMFF, RMIT Professor Robyn Healy will lead a discussion exploring the question: ‘Is jewellery a luxury?’, bringing together practitioners from a range of fields.

She wants to go to her bedroom but she can’t be bothered and All the jewellery will be accompanied by publications designed by Ziga Testen. An unreliable guidebook to jewellery by Lisa Walker will be launched during Melbourne Art Book Fair.

Lisa Walker was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1967. She studied at Otago Polytechnic Art School in Dunedin, majoring in jewellery under Georg Beer. In 1995 she began studies under Otto Künzli at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, finishing with the head student award in 2002. She established her studio in Munich, exhibiting widely in Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China. She has given lectures and workshops internationally since 2001 and has received numerous awards including Creative New Zealand arts board grants, the 2007 Munich Förderpreis, the Francoise van den Bosch Award 2010, and the 2015 New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate Award. She returned to Wellington in 2010 and is currently residing there with her partner jeweller Karl Fritsch and their two children

RMIT Design Hub Gallery is a progressive exhibition environment that presents creative, practice-led research and is open to everyone. Our exhibitions visualise, perform and share research ideas, and make new research connections.

Image courtesy of Lisa Walker.