Crafting Civic Pride
Inspired by the craftsmanship and legacy integral to the Mayoral chain this exhibition unpacks traditional ways of making and traditional ceremonies within contemporary society. Historically town metalsmiths and the use of precious materials (such as gold) were commonplace in the production of ceremonial objects, today however jewellers use a larger array of materials to create objects that are embedded with symbols and ideas that reflect civic and personal pride. Today’s traditional ceremonies rarely attract such elaborate adornments but the relationship exists particularly through the craftsmanship employed.
Commissioned by Craft Victoria, ten contemporary Melbourne artists have respond to the City of Melbourne Mayoral Chain, producing artworks that explore notions of grandeur and responsibility through materials and processes. This exploration includes installations to challenge ideas surrounding wearability while interactive works question preciousness of material and production.
The history of our own civic life will be sampled as we present Mayoral chains and photographic documentation of the former and current shires of the Horsham, Northern Grampians, Hindmarsh, West Wimmera and Yarriambiak. We proudly present the craftsmanship of these ornamental objects and key moments when they adorned the shoulders of men and women in civic ceremony.
Illuminating this further, we have invited one contemporary artist from our region, Wotjobaluk/Jupagalk/Jadawadjali Traditional Owner, Gail Harradine to respond and create a new artwork to explore ways of making, materiality and ceremonies from the perspective of her ancient living culture.
Craft as a discipline has a history of enormous social and political power, Crafting Civic Pride enables Victorian makers to make comment on the ways of making, progress in technology and industry and to discuss the social status of adornment through jewellery.
Craft Victoria’s Mayoral Chain features; Alexi Freeman and Tessa Blazey, Anna Davern, Anna Varendorff, Claire McArdle, Kate Rohde, Marcos Guzman, Maree Clarke, Pennie Jagiello and Roseanne Bartley + Gail Harradine