Acquisitions 2012

When I returned to the workforce after a lot of years of study, I made a promise that I would set aside a modest annual budget from which I would carefully select a few small pieces of art and craft by New Zealand artists. With this year's budget I have bought four pieces and I absolutely love each one. The first is a willow spoon pendant by Rachel Bell from her exhibition Post at Fingers Jewellery earlier this year. The spoon is light and beautiful to wear and I'm convinced that it possesses some kind of magical properties, although I haven't yet discovered what they are. The spoon certainly attracts a lot of comments when I wear it and it often generates a long discussion about people's favourite utensils!

Ever since I saw my friend Katharina Jaeger sporting a gold and black silicone blob necklace by Sharon Fitness, I have longed to have one. When I asked about Sharon's silicone pieces at Fingers, a box of them was extracted from the stock room and I had a lovely time going through them all. It was a bit like putting your hand into a bag of jelly snakes. The one I chose has red, purple and silver blobs on it, but it can also be worn with the plainer side showing, so that it looks like a starry sky.

'It's a whole lot of look,' my sister pointed out, but there are certain times when that is exactly what's called for, I argued, so I'm very glad to include it among my acquisitions for 2012. When I wore it at a friend's 40th birthday bash, a very irritating guy (in a Jesus costume) kept coming up and poking the silver circles on the necklace and making a Star Trek 'Beam me up' sound. This grew very tiresome, but it hasn't deterred me from wearing it since!

After working with Bronwynne Cornish for my Lugosi's Children exhibition at Objectspace last year, I knew I needed to have one of her Oracles in my collection. I opted for a dear little Owl Oracle sitting on a log from Bronwynne's exhibition at Wellington's Avid Gallery earlier this year. The jug I chose has a gorgeous duck-egg blue glaze on the inside, which creates a strange illusion of depth.We drank elderflower cordial from a large owl jug at Bronwynne's house last summer and when I saw that she had made more owls  for her show at Avid, I couldn't resist buying one. I particularly love the combination of practicality and whimsy in the piece.
On Saturday, Jack and I drove to Objectspace to collect four clay books by Tessa Laird that featured recently in her collaborative exhibition with Peter Lange in the window space of the gallery. The exhibition called Reading Room included 115 clay facsimiles of books that Tessa read during the past few years studying towards a Doctorate in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland.

Reading Room was hands-down the best use that an artist has made of the window space at Objectspace in a long time. The key is not only to present an innovative take on craft or design, but also to stage an environment that attracts the attention of pedestrians strolling along Ponsonby Road, and Tessa and Peter succeeded in doing just that. Peter made a suite of fantastic brick furniture including a bookshelf and table to display Tessa's clay books, and visitors were warmly encouraged to handle the books, many of which had beautiful fragments of text painted onto the backs of them.I whiled away a very pleasant afternoon with a bunch of creative friends selecting our favourite clay books, which were available to purchase for the very reasonable sum of $100 each. I selected four - a couple to keep, and a couple to give away as gifts to friends at Christmas.

Quite a few people who visited Reading Room were inquiring about the availability of Tessa Laird's doctoral exegesis because they wanted to know more about her clay library. The text was produced in a small edition of six colour-coded books, and I understand that a bound-up version of the six-part text will be available early next year through Clouds, a boutique art publishing company operating in Auckland. The book will be a must have for your library, so I'll let you know when it is available.

And that is my acquisitions budget for 2012 well spent!

My 2013 budget will definitely include a bag by Vita Cochran. If you haven't visited Vita's glorious website yet, you should make a pot of tea and spend the rest of the afternoon browsing through all her beautiful pieces.They really are quite something.

Enjoy your week!


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