Slippage - Nick Bastin & Sean O'Connell
18 September to 31 October, 2015
It would appear that Slippage is perfect title for an exhibition of work by jewellers Sean O’Connell (NSW) and Nicholas Basin (VIC). While aesthetically their work is wildly different these two jewellers have a shared predilection for and revel in the fuzzy edges, the in-between, and the slippery bits.
Sean O’Connell makes jewellery that moves, little wearable amulets to reduce the daily frictions of life and provide something to fiddle with as one is deep in thought. Alongside this range of works that has been developing over the years, he also presents here an exploration of the energetic potential of material, through spark discharge images of rings made from copper, gold, tantalum, bone, hair, wax, ceramic and meteorite, looking deep into the structure of matter. Each material has a complex electrical character - it is not simply a matter of seeing what conducts best and makes the biggest spark, but rather to explore the individual energetic character of each material.
Nicholas Bastin contemplates the idea of the portal, a doorway between two different places; the actual world and another that is imagined, untouchable and fantastic. What if the brooch could be a wormhole, or rather, an object that delineates a gap where things may slip from our world into another? Some of the jewellery brooches in this exhibition are small frames that manifest as borders situated on the cusp of such places. These brooches, like historical miniature portraits, centre on a subject, however in this case, one that is a potential temporal space.
Sean O’Connell has studied at various institutions in his chequered education, including at the Gold and Silversmithing department under Johannes Kuhnen at ANU’s School of Art, also at the Enmore Design Centre, and at Sydney College of the Arts, where he is currently undertaking a PhD. His home studio is in the south of Sydney, backing onto the heathlands of the Royal National Park.
Nicholas Bastin is an artist and designer who makes jewellery and objects based on the fusion of popular culture mythology with historical artefact. He lives and works in Melbourne and has a BA, Fine Art (Honours) MA, Fine Art and Phd from RMIT University. He has lectured in the Jewellery and Metal Studio, Monash University and the Jewellery and Object studio at the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.