Kelly McDonald: Portrait of Jewellery

Wellington-based jeweller Kelly McDonald uses materials from traditionally masculine and utilitarian fields for creating objects of fine art. Having grown up in rural Australia amidst the largest brown coal deposit in the Southern Hemisphere, the industrial geography of the opencast mine influences all aspects of her creative practice, including material choices, the crafting of her objects and the historical and visual rhythms of her work.

Portrait of Jewellery springs forward from an exploration into the ever-changing definition of contemporary jewellery. Here, the specific arrangement of objects and the spaces around them forms a visual language, speaking to the connections between people and things. Within the installation each unique object builds upon both traditional associations and personal narratives to investigate the potential divide between a tool and an item of jewellery, and spurs a conversation around use, value and meaning.

Kelly McDonald has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts. Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition TOOL LOOT & the Mother Lode (2018, The National, Christchurch), and group exhibitions Schmuck (2017, Munich) and Wunderruma (2015, Auckland). McDonald teaches the Bachelor of Applied Arts – Jewellery course at Whitireia, she has participated several times in the HANDSHAKE jewellery mentoring project, is a member of the collective Occupation: Artist, the window gallery group The See Here, and is currently embarking on her Masters of Fine Arts at Massey University.

Image: Kelly McDonald Portrait of Jewellery, 2018

05 October - 04 December 2018

Photos: Sam Hartnett