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Precious stones, bones, plastic and trash: 40 years of NZ jewellery

8 Oct 2014

This content is tagged as Craft/object .

NEWS

Curated by Damian Skinner and Finn McCahon-Jones, the latest Objectspace exhibition marks the 40 year milestone of Fingers – and provides a rare opportunity for people to see these historical pieces.

“How we have survived for so long is a mystery… We have no legal entity, have never had a mission statement, and as a group have different views about almost everything. For years there were monthly meetings where sometimes agreements were made. Wonderful shows happened,” - Alan Preston, founding member of Fingers, contemporary jewellery gallery.

From seventies Gypsy mystique and trash punk, to eighties paua power and Memphis urbanism, the commercial impetus of the nineties and the eclectic, irreverent aesthetic of today; jewellery design in New Zealand has been shaped by many artists’ hands.

Over the past four decades, Fingers Gallery, the iconic New Zealand gallery and jewellery retailer has both carved out and reflected the every-changing New Zealand jewellery scene.  

Curated by Damian Skinner and Finn McCahon-Jones, the latest Objectspace exhibition marks the 40 year milestone of Fingers – and provides a rare opportunity for people to see these historical pieces.

The jewellery includes necklaces, rings, bracelets and brooches made from bone, precious gems, McDonalds thick shake cups, paua shells, fur, titanium, plastic, driftwood, and found objects.

McCahon-Jones says “it’s been exciting to see the shift in materials, and how the jewellery captures the mood of the different decades. It’s an opportunity to see how early works have shaped contemporary practice.”

“Fingers has worked hard to change the perception of jewellery in New Zealand.  Forty years later, it is still a world apart from what you can find in most retailers.”

Fingers Gallery was established in the 1970s, by a group of young jewellers whose work reflected an awareness of New Zealand’s culture, landscape, and connection to the Pacific. The jewellery has pushed boundaries and challenge notions about value by the use of unconventional materials.

Fingers Gallery is now a significant point on the global jewellery map and the work of a number of its founders has been acquired for some of the most important public and private jewellery collections internationally.

The Fingers exhibition will focus on several key Fingers shows and brings together a number of works selected from private collections. 

Title: A retrospective of Fingers Gallery & jewellery design
Venue: Objectspace Gallery
Date: 7 November 2014