Currently on display at Hurstville Museum & Gallery is the exhibition USE. This exhibition features exquisitely crafted contemporary jewellery and small objects by seventeen artists from the Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia (Queensland Chapter), toured by Museums & Galleries Queensland.
One of the featured artists is Clare Poppi who currently resides in South-East Queensland. Clare, who describes herself as an ‘eco-jeweller’ works primarily with jewellery. She often incorporates recyclable and biodegradable materials in her works as she is passionate about sustainable design and the environment.
For Clare, once she has completed a work of jewellery, she does not consider it finished but considers its use and handling of the piece by the wearer as a continuation of the objects life and design. She has sought out collaborations between jewellers and wearers of jewellery “with the aim of fostering meaningful relationships between the wearer and their jewellery collections”. In doing so, Clare aims to inspire discussion surrounding fast fashion as well as improve the sustainability of jewellery production.
It was this rhetoric which inspired her and fellow jewellery makers to co-found Bench, a collective working space for Brisbane based jewellers which created a collaborative and supportive network. While the members of Bench have moved from their shared space, they still meet regularly “to create, critique and exhibit together”.
Poppi’s ideologies are present in her work Seed bomb necklace, currently on display as a part of USE. This work is made from sterling silver, hemp, clay, compost, seeds and string. Poppi describes this work as:
“… a silver pendant necklace… with an internal cavity that can create an endless supply of seed bombs. The wearer can then create infinite seed bomb necklaces that can be used, thrown, traded or given away.” – Clare Poppi
This work reflects the brief of USE, which was to be inspired by the tools and process of jewellery making. For Clare, the life of this piece continues with the wearer and particularly of their use of it, not just the passive wearing of it.
If you’re inspired by Clare Poppi’s work why not try making your own seed bombs at home?
USE is on exhibition at Hurstville Museum & Gallery until 25 October 2020.
‘About’, Clare Poppi, http://www.clarepoppi.com/, viewed 23 August 2020.
‘Clare Poppi’, USE: Contemporary jewellery and objects catalogue, pg. 28.