If you would like to get your hands on a copy of the catalogue, please contact Velvet da Vinci gallery or drop us a line.
Meanwhile, please enjoy reading the fabulous catalogue essay that Zoe has crafted for us interspersed with a few more images of works from the exhibition...
452 to Paradise
A few years ago, on a trip to Adelaide, I chanced upon a road sign, that in big reflective letters simply read O-bahn to Paradise. My mind drifted to a dreamlike world. As I stepped down from my chariot dressed in a cherry red toga with a golden grape wreath upon my head, I would be presented with a ceremonial reception. Beer would flow freely and trumpets would sound. This was my grandiose, and perhaps a little kitsch, idea of Paradise. Only, I had a feeling this suburb in Australia’s fifth largest city might not live up to my expectations. This humorous idea of paying a few dollars to catch a bus to Paradise, has stuck with me ever since.
Not long after this unexpected discovery, I was introduced to another delight, a project that jewellers Melinda Young and Lauren Simeoni were beginning to germinate and would grow to become unnatural, Naturally and now unnatural Acts.
Mark Vaarwerk, Brooch
My initiation went something like this: Young handed me an A4-sized padded envelope addressed to Young from Simeoni and invited me to inspect its contents. It contained just one single item: a huge plastic lettuce leaf. There was no note, no explanation, just the TO and FROM address written on the outside. From my facial expression, it was clear that I did not understand. Young, however, offered no explanation, just a cheeky grin. Further inquiry uncovered that this was just the veiled way that Young and Simeoni like to communicate.
Caz Guiney, Neckpiece
Over the past three years Young and Simeoni have posted a communal notebook and found objects, usually plastic fakery, like the gifted lettuce leaf, back and forth between their respective studios in Sydney and Adelaide. Through this process they have each developed a series of work in response to these shared communications and objects. Like neighbours exchanging recipes and garden clippings over the back fence, it seems appropriate then, that the fruits of their labor have been exhibited on stylized wooden hedges, with their neckpieces and brooches, hung in colour coordinated vignettes. It is as if Young and Simeoni are perhaps thinking about their own jewellery paradise and in unnatural, Naturally creating their version of a Garden of Eden. Drawn together by their similar aesthetic and appreciation of a good pun, it is clear that both Simeoni and Young take much joy in their creations. The humour of the work is deeply seeded not only in the use of their found objects, but also in the quiet nod of appreciation passed in the titles of the pieces. I however, have a sneaky suspicion, that under all the flourish, things might not always be what they appear. Spend some time with these works and you start to notice that all the plastic fakery might actually be teasing you; the works may look a little different after you glance at a few titles: Half Lung, Puce, Pollinator, Leak and Probe. Perhaps you might also like to consider where some of these works sit when placed on the body.
Bridget Kennedy, Brooch
This project seems unrivalled not only in the unconventional approach to collaboration, but also in scope (creating new work for each of the five previous exhibitions) and in its longevity (beginning in 2008 and with no immediate indication of slowing down). Like a plastic bunch of grapes, the work still seems fresh, however kitsch and unnatural their inspiration and materials, the resulting work is relevant and reflects how each jeweller views the world around them.
Kath Inglis, Brooch
In 2011, Young and Simeoni have opened their garden gates and invited eight Australian jewellers, Anna Davern, Caz Guiney, Kath Inglis, Bridget Kennedy, Peta Kruger, Sim Luttin, Natalia Milosz-Piekarska, and Mark Vaarwerk, to share in their world of plastic fakery, sending them each an oddment of vines, lemons, grapes, cherries and onions. The result is unnatural Acts, an exhibition where these everyday objects are grafted together, given new life and transformed into something else entirely.
Natalia Milosz-Piekarska, Neckpiece
These new realities, full of possibilities show how unexpected and funny life can be, like the discovery that Paradise exists and is just a short bus ride away.