Small Space 2017

Small Space follows on from the Curiosity Cabinet programme at Lopdell House Gallery and the Curiosity Corner programme at Te Uru. Using the landing of the floating staircase behind Gallery One, the space is dedicated to and supports contemporary jewellery and object-making practices.

Image: Clementine Edwards: The light that shrivels a mountain (after Adrienne Rich), 2017.


Launching the Small Space programme for 2017, Auckland-based jeweller Kim Whalen’s Weight of New investigates the relationship of jewellery to function and movement, and the compromises and restrictions that jewellery may have on the body. Weight of New sees a mix of traditional and non-traditional materials – from pearls and sterling silver to concrete and sand from local beaches – to create jewellery on the brink of wearability.

The more connections you make, the greater the weight you carry. – Kim Whalen, 2016

25 February – 12 April 2017


Chris Charteris and Emily Siddell are two established artists who are known for their large-scale works. For this installation, they have collaborated in exploring various qualities and histories of glass, referencing both the very familiar shapes of recycled wine bottles and the most ancient and natural form of glass, obsidian. The combination acknowledges the functional use of glass: obsidian has been used for thousands of years as a cutting tool, much like a household knife, while wine bottles have an ongoing usefulness as a vessel. The artists propose these new works as a celebration of wine, to the pleasure of good wine and positive wine related experiences. Speaking to the scale of these necklaces, they observe: “many wine bottles were accumulated to produce these artworks. Please note: Chris and Emily didn’t have to drink all the wine to get these bottles, it was a big group effort. As they say: everything in moderation. Cheers, we’ll drink to that!”

7 June – 24 July 2017


Tactile bronze forms lay at rest as potential prompts for action. Hannah Valentine’s Flex engages with the zone of the gym and the way we construct and understand our bodies, using forms reminiscent of exercise equipment to explore modes of sensory engagement and haptic knowledge.

French philosopher Bernard Stiegler argues that, in our age of constant technological innovation, feeling and sensibility is being overridden and is catastrophically at risk.

Flex questions how the physicality of the ‘gym-going’ body may propose either relief or disconnect from sensory experience through its calculated regimes. Within our climate of technological advances, rapidly progressing automation and the saturation of digital culture, slowing to reflect upon the significance of feeling, touching and exerting has a refreshed sense of urgency.

26 July – 21 September 2017


A featherweight parcel arrives to New Zealand from the north. In it, the entire Bloem en blad exhibition. Green string, hatched eggs, seeds of the dandelion flower. This is a show about lightness in spring. For Bloem en blad, Clementine Edwards gives form to the fragility of the moments that regeneration produces.

Working with materials from her new hometown Rotterdam, Edwards explores the possibility of hope in the aftermath. What details burst into life? What narratives might emerge? What brittle flowers could break your heart? These precarious assemblages make a gentle demand on the audience; that they observe with care. And where the scale of these sculptures invite intimacy up close, their shelter-forms evoke a sort of home.

Clementine Edwards is an artist and editor from Melbourne. She produces work that makes reference to craft histories and acts as a refusal of contemporary jewellery’s performative parameters. Edwards takes interest in the smaller scale and how we wear jewellery and experience on our bodies alike. She currently lives in Rotterdam and is studying at the Dutch Art Institute.

Image: Clementine Edwards: The light that shrivels a mountain (after Adrienne Rich) 2017

22 September – 23 November 2017


Sharon Fitness explores the concept of ‘jewelleryness,’ testing the fine line between everyday objects and wearable jewellery. Finding Jewelleryness includes instructional videos that share her love of wearing readymades; identifying objects such as snowballs, toys and chocolate bars for their ability to be worn.

Alongside this, a selection of screens sit inside wearable felt casings. Sharon tests the limits of what we understand as traditional jewellery, and offers a glimpse of what these small and ubiquitous yet powerful technologies may offer for body adornment in the future. Here, Sharon aims to anthropomorphise jewellery, asking the viewer what their jewellery thinks about being jewellery, and about the world in general.

Sharon Fitness graduated from MIT School of Visual Arts in 2007, majoring in Contemporary Jewellery. She has exhibitited in many exhibitions in New Zealand and internationally, including Wunderruma (Munich 2014, Auckland 2016), Attitude as Form(Sydney 2015) and Medusa: Jewellery and Taboos (Paris 2017), and contributes to the jewellery collaboration Handshake. Living and working near Auckland, Sharon believes in saving the world one brooch at a time.

25 February - 23 January 2018

(click to enlarge)