By Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
Connexions was organised by contemporary jewellery artists Blandine Hallé and Melissa Cameron. Their aim in its conception was to introduce an international audience to Australian contemporary jewellery; its breadth and depth.
At the time of planning the exhibition, news media was dominated by the story of the Christchurch Massacres, which were perpetrated by an Australian citizen.
Connexions evolved to be a counter-action of sorts, aiming to present a cross-section of Australian makers with cross-cultural backgrounds, and showcasing artists with multifarious and deep connections to the human body.
Through this exhibit the artists aim to connect the audience to them; to share their Australian identity.
Emily Beckley is an Indigenous artist of the Meriam Mir and Kala Lagaw language groups in Torres Strait Islands, Queensland. She uses Indigenous symbols, native seeds and coral, in conjunction with washed up fishing net and wire, to illustrate the devastation met by our environment at the hands of humankind.
Emily Beckley (2020) by Emily BeckleyMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
Watch: Emily Beckley
"Global warming is such a real issue living in the Torrest Strait Islands. The tide is rising. We'll slowly lose the majority of our islands."
Zoom into the woven details of Emily Beckley's pieces here.
Blandine Hallé is a photographer and artist jeweller. She grew up in Paris and her family ancestry is French, German and Spanish and moved to Western Australia in 1997. Her artwork is a commentary on her emotional, cultural and sensory experiences as a French-Australian, expatriate and migrant.
Blandine Hallé (2020) by Blandine HalléMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
Watch: Blandine Hallé
"I feel a very strong connection connection to the land here. The open skies, the vastness, the eccentricity of the vegetation. It's something you don't get in Europe."
Explore Blandine Hallé's use of symbolism in her jewellery artworks here.
Eden Lennox was born in Australia where her paternal Ashkenazi Jewish grandmother sought refuge with her children after the Holocaust. Her practice is informed by how an individual’s relationship to culture and space is expressed.
Eden Lennox (2020) by Eden LennoxMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
Watch: Eden Lennox
"In Australia we don't address class, it's not talked about enough. But it's politically noticeable, in the material world, it's evident in social space."
See how Eden Lennox creates bespoke pieces from invaluable objects here.
Fatemeh Boroujeni is an ethnic Bakhtiari from Iran who arrived in Australia in 2010. Using the technique of repoussé with contemporary designs, Boroujeni makes bold artworks in which the imprint and heritage of her Persian home city of Isfahan can be seen in the decorative details.
Fatemeh Boroujeni (2020) by Fatemeh BoroujeniMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
Watch: Fatemeh Boroujeni
"When I look at my pieces, I really see myself. The materials I pick, I know it comes from somewhere in the history of my life."
See how Fatemeh Boroujeni uses brush bristles to bring unique detail and meaning to her work here.
Melissa Cameron is an Australian jeweller and artist with Anglo-Celtic and Canadian ancestry, born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. Cameron takes the discarded and bothersome detritus we look past on our streets everyday, but she treasures it. She cares for it and lovingly brings the white and black elements together on the body in protest to their division.
Melissa Cameron (2020) by Melissa CameronMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
Watch: Melissa Cameron
"There's a sort of poetry in how jewellery is as an object. I definitely see my work as storytelling."
See how Melissa Cameron's works evolve from rusty, discarded objects to polished, refined pieces here.
Sultana Shamshi was born in Bombay, India, of Hindu, Arab and Persian descent and emigrated to Perth, Western Australia in 1982. Through her work, Shamshi creates her own landscape binding the everyday with the coveted. Shamshi’s forest of brooches illustrate a bushland where cultures grow together, side by side.
Sultana Shamshi (2020) by Sultana ShamshiMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
Watch: Sultana Shamshi
"The unity is the garden, the diversity is the plants in the garden. That's what we need today - to build a society of differences that elevates us."
Explore Sultana Shamshi's forest of brooches and see how they're a call to action for diversity and unity in contemporary society.
Works by Emily Beckley, Blandine Hallé, Eden Lennox, Fatemeh Boroujeni, Melissa Cameron and Sultana Shamshi for Connexions Exhibition at Galerie Assemblages, October 13 - 31.
All photography by Rob Frith. Words by Laura Deakin and Melissa Cameron.
Short Films by VAM Media
Filming & Production: Brendan Hutchens
Additional filming: Lola Digital (in the Torres Strait)
Post Production: Steven Alyian