G29 – Alchemy Now
“A hundred thousand elixirs created by The Truth
Yet no alchemy like patience is known to Man”
In the modern era, crafts offered a path “back to nature”. They expressed a love of natural dyes, local clays and native timbers.
But what if we run out of nature? Or do we prefer to leave it alone?
The makers in this issue have developed ways of extracting beauty from the residue of human activity. They have invented an alchemy for the anthropocene era. Yes, it is possible to live within our limits without forgoing the quest for beauty that gives life meaning.
Critically, their work promises a better use of the planet. Mining and industry often extract value without accounting for the hidden costs on the environment. These works highlight the materials on which we depend.
You are invited to take inspiration from the skill, creativity and vision of the makers who have shared their stories.
Many thanks to the pathfinders who helped navigate this issue: Carla van Lunn, Emma Davies, Gussie van de Merwe, Inari Ikiuru, Kath Inglis, Liat Segal, Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros, Mark Edgoose, Melinda Young, Peta Kruger, Reihane Raei, Stewart Russell and Vicki Mason.
This issue is in partnership with the Luleå Biennial of Craft and Art an event in northern Sweden that features local makers in a global context.
(Image above: Kyoko Hashimoto, Guy Keulemans and Matt Harkness, Polylactic Acid Chain (large necklace), 2020, PLA, 2173 x 939 x 110; photo: Carine Thevenau).
Down to earth
- The bauxite challenge: Bioregional thinking and place-based making by Kyoko Hashimoto
- Spacecraft: A future from what remains by Kevin Murray
- A stick is never too long or too short by Silje Figenschou Thoresen
- Earth Nidus: An unnatural nature by Fan Ji
- Unmining: Returning metals to earth by Charly Blackburn
- The life cycle of steel by Lindy McSwan
- Jaffa Lam ✿ Chasing an Elusive Nature by Caroline Ha Thuc
- The tree-bird: An alchemy of the heart by Reihane Raei
- Roof top alchemy: Gilding statues in Nepal by Gary Wornell
- The meaning of yellow by Helen Ting
- The robot embroiderer by Anying Chen
- Take a chance on art by Liat Segal
- The Dirge and The Vital Heat by Nicole Polentas
- Kuulua vuohmaan: Belonging to a mire by Ida Isak Westerberg
- Of uncertain value: The fragile beauty of epiphytes by Kath Inglis
- Composite bouquet: A plastic heirloom for the future by Vicki Mason
- Bird, fish or somewhere in between by Karin Roy Andersson, Sofia Björkman
- Vivalto Lungo: Espresso bridal jewellery by Annika Karskens
- Tack Skogen: Beauty in the blemish by Madam Snickeri
- Beyond the screen: Glass bodies in making. by Nadège Desgenétez
- Damsko Srce: Heritage hanging by a thread by Jacqueline Stojanović
- Plunging into batik with Zahir Widadi by Carla Van Lunn
- Animita Ayúdame Papito: “So help me, father.” by Vania Ruiz Villarroel
- Artifice as allegory: Sylvia Nakachi investigates evolving Indigeneity in the Torres Strait by Pamela See
Jeannette Cooperman How Plastic Liberated and Entombed Us
Robert Pogue Harrison(2008) Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition. University of Chicago Press. Chapter One – Vocation of care
Heide Gustafson Dust to Dust: A Geology of Color
This issue is dedicated to Alice Potter.
Alice Potter was a jeweller, artist and much-loved personality within the Australian jewellery community. I took Alice’s maternity leave Production Manager position at the JamFactory when she was pregnant with her first child back in 2014 and we later worked together as colleagues in the metal studio. That experience ended up opening so many doors that ultimately brought my partner and I back to Adelaide this year. Alice’s work had a particular quality that captured vibrancy of colour and a gorgeous sense of rhythm and arrangement. I’m tremendously inspired by Alice’s intuitive, prolific, creative talent and feel a deep sense of gratitude for her.