Handshake 2 is an exciting and provocative exhibition of contemporary wearable art.
Contemporary wearable art invites the viewer to wear what they are seeing, to not merely hang it on a wall in their private space - to go public. It is bound to generate many questions in relation to long held views of self, society and the environment not to mention the stereotypical notions associated with jewellery.
The use of a wide variety of unconventional materials, unfamiliar scale and an often-unconventional means of wearing the Artwork combines to make this exhibition challenging and confronting. What is sacred? Who is safe? Do we exist in a prefabricated, prescribed reality fuelled by complacency and a desire for stasis?
Handshake 2 is an innovative mentoring programme developed by contemporary award-winning artist and jeweller Peter Deckers. Emerging jewellery artists are paired with their heroes – internationally renowned artists, chosen by them to deepen and extend their art practice. The innovative programme is based on the old apprentice system but in reverse, where the mentor works for the mentee with digital media as the vehicle for communication. The mentee gets a helping hand from their chosen hero artist through their virtual window, using Skype, blogs, and emails as well as the old-fashioned post to connect. Some also travel overseas to meet their mentors face to face.
In 2014 a new group of New Zealand contemporary jewellers started the Handshake mentoring program with their chosen hero. 10 Handshake2 contemporary jewellery mentees Amelia Pascoe, Karren Dale, Kathryn Yeats, Kelly McDonald, Lisa Higgins, Raewyn Walsh, Renee Bevan, Sarah Walker-Holt, Tineke Jansen and Vanessa Arthur, who are mentored by Ruudt Peters, Gemma Draper, Ben Pearce, Kirsten Haydon, Cal Lane, Henriette Schuster, Harrell Fletcher, Helen Britton, Ela Bauer, David Neale will be exhibiting at Stanley Street Gallery in July 2015.
In the three years since its conception, the HANDSHAKE programme has already built up a reputation for excellence, and places are sort after by well-known and emerging jewellers from all over New Zealand. The participants are selected through an open call and the selection panel built from internationally renowned experts, from a variation of art practices.
“It is a fine-tuning process and we have to ask if a mentorship would further the artist’s practice, whether they have the drive to take risks and experiment, and to become a mentee. The project relies on the concentrated focus of each mentee, and on the relationship and knowledge of the participating mentors.”