Jewellery artist sees potential in things forgotten

8 October 2015

Toi Pōneke’s Whitireia artist-in-residence for 2015, contemporary jeweller Fran Carter, presents her solo exhibition MOOP – Matter Out Of Place, in November.

Colourful rings and brooches created by artist Fran Carter.

Colourful jewellery created by artist Fran Carter

MOOP responds to the fall out that is evident in our urban environment, resulting from the excesses of our consumer culture. Found objects collected from city streets, sea shores and elsewhere are combined with sterling silver donated by the public and reimagined as vivid new jewellery pieces.

A recent graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Arts programme at Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Fran is currently studying for a Graduate Diploma in Visual Art and says, “In my jewellery practice I tend to employ redundant materials and discarded objects that undergo a transformational process; this is my opportunity to experiment and resurrect the unconscious life that remains, challenging the original functions and perceptions of value."

In preparation for MOOP Fran sought donations of broken or unused sterling silver objects from the public with her project Trade to Treasure – she reciprocated, offering donors a limited edition brooch in return and the chance to engage with an arts project, which Fran documented along the way with her Trade to Treasure blog.

Rather than being transformed on a piece-by-piece basis, the silver contributions were melted down together through the process of casting. The final works have been lavished in colour, reflecting both the allure and excesses of the subject matter.

“My jewellery likes to make statements and observations. Thoughts that have been translated, cast into form, often piggybacking a ride on the voices of existing objects," says Fran. “What results is jewellery that endears its audience by marching to the beat of its own drum.”

During her tenure as the Whitireia Artist In Residence at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre Fran has been busy exhibiting at home and abroad, contributing to shows at Quoil and Auckland’s Masterworks gallery as well as her inclusion in Wunderrūma – the largest exhibition of New Zealand contemporary jewellery to travel Europe. She was also selected for the JMGA Graduate Metal Awards in Sydney and Radiant Pavilion; a Contemporary Jewellery & Object Trail in Melbourne. Fran is the recipient of a NZ Federation of Graduate Women Scholarship awarded via the Whitireia Foundation.

MOOP opens to the public on 20 November and runs until 12 December 2015.