Christel van der Laan | Stanley Street Gallery

Christel van der Laan

Contemporary jewellery is often concerned with the personal stories and journey of the maker. The selection and composition of materials to give form to thoughts, feelings and memories, is often the most challenging and exhilarating part of the process of making.

 

CLICK HERE - Parts of the Story 29th October - 22nd November 2014

 

Red to Wear  - 24th July - 17th August 2013

The works in this exhibition challenge notions of preciousness in jewellery by drawing attention the cruel practice of poaching and culling elephants in the pursuit of ivory for personal adornment.

The necklaces invite the viewer/wearer to re-think notions of perceived and actual value and questions how we adorn ourselves - and at what cost, referencing the moment of consumer exchange and accompanying issues of expenditure, guilt, excess, desire and waste.

Although the pieces may be physically wearable they are unwearable and have been conceived to weigh on the conscience of the wearer.

An estimated 300 hours were spent over a three month period to make the necklace At Any Price. Over 9000 nylon swing tags were individually punched and linked to make chains with each link consisting of three tags. The chains in turn, were woven around and through each other until a sold form was created that could retain its shape.

 

 

Collecting, arranging and making things have been a part of my life since I can remember. It is a passion I have shared with my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who between them have (had) careers or interests in everything from antiques, tribal art, textiles, photography, contemporary art, furniture and design to plant and animal life.

Born in the Netherlands, I emigrated with my family to South Africa as a child, returning to the Netherlands to complete my secondary education, before moving to Australia. Ours was a childhood of dazzling natural environments and exotic cultures.   Often my extended family would visit and trips into the "veld" and later, "bush" would yield unexpected booties and a wealth of impressions, while second hand shops and roadside vendors were a source of many extraordinary finds. These items or later finds with associations to particular times and places frequently find their way into my jewellery.

My recent work evolved out of the spontaneous exploration and experimentation with materials with an emphasis on making parts and components that only later were combined into complete works. I have become more interested in achieving subtle dynamic tension between compositional elements in my work and by spending time focusing on creating poetic visual language without the constraint of having to make finished pieces, I hoped to stimulate my process and enrich my practice.

The concept of preciousness in jewellery and the search for beauty in the discarded and overlooked in our everyday lives has interested me for some time. In 2008, I was drawn to a piece of ceramic honeycomb that for years had been sitting unobtrusively on my workbench. Usually a soldering aid on thousands of jeweller’s benches around the globe, I began to imagine and explore the new world of possibilities concealed in each 15 x 10 x 1cm block.  Experiments followed and tools were trialled before my first real pieces Holier than Thou were created. Pure, white, pristine, perforated and entirely precious, the title was an obvious choice.

From an occasional inclusion, this unlikely stuff is now the dominant focus in my work and thanks to grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Department of Culture and the Arts, Western Australia I have been able to spend months cutting, carving, comparing, contrasting, constructing.

Collected materials some dating back to my childhood, were also incorporated into the works, among them stones from my collection of Victorian fob seal blanks. Others included antique cut steel beads vintage glass buttons and plastics, mother of pearl, building materials and electrical parts.

There is something incredibly satisfying in creating these entirely hand-made objects. It is a slow, labour intensive process: The delicate honeycomb must be carved carefully to avoid chipping and breakages. Once painted and/or sealed, it becomes more robust. I agonise over the choice and final placement of all elements in the composition.   But as I rhythmically file and sand, with every movement revealing more pattern, line and form, I feel I have found my place in jewellery world.

Christel van der Laan

Born: 1963 in Son en Breugel, the Netherlands. Arrived in Western Australia in 1981.

Since 1998 own jewellery workshop

 

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

1998 Diploma of Art & Design/Jewellery, West Coast College, Carine, Perth, Australia

1988 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014 Parts of the Story, Stanley Street Gallery, Sydney Australia

2006 Price-less, Katherine Kalaf Gallery, Perth, Australia

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS AND FAIRS

2014 A Fine Possession: Jewellery and Identity, The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia

2013 Bodywork: Australian Jewellery 1970 – 2012,  National Gallery of Australia (touring )

Red To Wear Stanley Street Gallery, Sydney

2012 Intergalactic, Dunedin Fine Arts Center, Florida, USA. Represented by Charon Kransen Arts 
Design = Wzornictwo, Design Centrum Kielce, Kielce, Poland

Collect 2012, Saatchi Gallery, London, Galerie Louise Smit

20 Years: Rhianon Vernon-Roberts Memorial Collection of Contemporary Australian Jewellery, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

International Jewellery based on Ready-mades, Skien, Norway

OBJECT Rotterdam 2012 Galerie Louise Smit, the Netherlands

2011 17 Curators, 17 Nominees, Galerie Louise Smit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Laget I Verden: From the World, National Museum of Art Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (touring)

Cinderella's Stories: Contemporary Jewellery from Western Australia, Beaver Galleries, Canberra, Australia, Lesley Craze Gallery, London, UK

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: 100 Years 100 Women 100 Stories 100 Brooches, Artisan, Brisbane, Australia (touring)

2010 SOFA New York, SOFA Santa Fe, SOFA Chicago, USA, represented by Charon Kransen Arts

2010, Perth Galleries, Perth, Western Australia

2009 SOFA Chicago, USA, represented by Charon Kransen Arts

Evoking Mystery: 20 International Jewellers, de Novo, Palo Alto, USA

SOFA New York, USA represented by Charon Kransen Arts

Evoking Mystery: in front of the existing title: 20 International Jewellers, de Novo, Palo Alto, USA

2008 SOFA Chicago, USA represented by Charon Kransen Arts

SOFA New York, USA represented by Charon Kransen Arts

Within Without: Contemporary Jewellery from Western Australia, Zu design, Adelaide, Australia

2007 Explorations 2007, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Itami International Craft Exhibition - Jewellery, Itami, Japan

30th Alice Craft Acquisition, Territory Craft Alice Springs, Australia

50 Brooches, CQ Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

2006 The Necklace Show, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, USA

National Contemporary Jewellery Award, Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Griffith, Australia

Parameters of Preciousness, Gahlberg Gallery, Chicago, USA

2005 Contemporary Wearables 2005, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba, Australia (touring)

100 Brooches, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, USA

29th Alice Craft Acquisition, Territory Craft, Alice Springs, Australia

2004 200 Rings, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, USA

National Contemporary Jewellery Award Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Griffith, Australia.

Odyssey, Gallows Gallery, Perth, Australia

2003 Contemporary Wearables 2003, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba, Australia (touring)

 

WORKS IN PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia

The Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia

The Alice and Louis Koch Collection, Switzerland

Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Griffith, Australia

 

AWARDS AND GRANTS

2011 New Work Grant, Australia Council for the Arts

Development Grant, Department of Culture and the Arts, Western Australia

2010 Open Award: 2010 Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group WA Inc

2006 Open Prize: National Contemporary Jewellery Award, Griffith Regional Art Gallery Griffith, Australia

2006 Craft-In-Site Grant (FORM and the Australia Council)

2004 Precious Metal Prize: National Contemporary Jewellery Award Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Griffith Australia

1995 Two Highly Commended Designs: Western Mining Gold Jewellery Design Awards

1994 Highly Commended Design: Western Mining Gold Jewellery Design Awards