This article appeared in Issue 52 of Urbis magazine:
The Multitude: Contemporary New Zealand Jewellery, curated by Karl Chitham and Caroline Billing for the 2009 Christchurch Arts Festival, was an open jewellery box of what's going on in new Aotearoa bling and trinketry. This show brought together the talents of top practitioners Fran Allison, Pauline Bern, Renee Bevan, Octavia Cook, Mary Curtis, Andrea Daly, Sharon Fitness, Warwick Freeman, Ross Malcolm, Shelley Norton, Alan Preston, Elfi Spiewack and Anna Wallis. The result was an Aladdin's cave of fascinating jewellery. The creative ingenuity and aesthetic intuition of these jewellers is breathtaking, especially in the way they combine the unlikeliest and often humblest of materials to create something exquisite. Gone are my preconceptions that the beuty of personal ornament is predicated on precious metals and polished stones, but also these carefully crafted pieces suggested playful and imaginative senses of humour. The display cases were innovative and simple. Cardboard and glass boxes were suspended from the half-lit cavern of the SoFA gallery basement in the Christchurch Arts Centre showed off the treasure they contained great style without distracting the eye. An exhibition that provides a complete design package is always a delight.
By Andrew Paul Wood