'once a bad puddy tat, always.....' auto rosary 2013 rear vision mirror, porcelain, black onyx, 925
'dead man's fingers' 2017 porcelain, brass, from 'Solastalgia'photo: Sona Sood
'last chance to see' 2017 video installation from 'Solastalgia'
'mama' neckpiece 2011 brass, porcelain, goat hair
The objects and jewellery resulting from my graduate research in 2011 are sensory, narrative responses to the imagined light and dark corners of my family's rural history. They are objects of logic and absurdity, both gorgeous and cruel, fracturing the impeccable decorum and staunch morality with which my grandmother tamed the bush, the children she bore, and the history she carved with immaculate precision for future generations. These works serve as transitional objects; stand-ins; prosthetics exploring the integrating and disintegrating permutations of memory.
'earth thumbprints' bowl and coolamon brooches 2014 oxidised 925
The elaborate thumb print swirls and etchings in these works were gathered from fallen eucalypt trees during trips to the Flinders Ranges, Adelaide Hills and Bakkabakandi (Victoria Park). It was important to me that the casting process used to gather these textures would leave the environment in which I was passing through completely unchanged.
Discarded corrugated iron, 'white man's bark', and old linoleum, 'poor man's carpet', conjures notions of impermanence and desertion. The materials chosen for these works create a sympathetic connection between ourselves and the barren fringes of our backyards, townships and cities.
Jo Wilmot - October 2013
'ramblings' brooch 2013 porcelain, linoleum, 925
'dead man's fingers' neckpiece 2017 porcelain, brass, nitrile, from 'Solastalgia' photo: Sona Sood
'ripple effect' 2017 porcelain, brass, nitrile, from 'Solastalgia'
'folded light' 2016 mother of pearl, oxidised 925
’In great architecture there is constant deep breathing of shadow and light, shadow inhales and illumination exhales light’’ Junichiro Tanizaki (1977:18) ‘In praise of shadow’
So too in the natural landscape as I found whilst breathing in the moonlight shadow cast by the cliff face and ancient caterpillar rock paintings near Alice Springs in July last year. I thought about the stars guiding indigenous groups across the continent. The mother of pearl that I had sourced from secondhand shops locally, was once traded in this way. Knowledge of its long history and association with tribal law, medicine, and love magic for aboriginal people, had curbed most previous attempts to use it. After the Alice Springs experience I felt I was able to honour the material's beauty without compromising its potency.
The oxidised sterling silver and mother of pearl brooch pictured pulses softly close to the heart; a small breath of the country's timelessness, its endless shifting of land, sea and desert sand. This breath also holds a deep fear of environmental catastrophe. It is from this threshold of grief and hope for our wounded earth that I find the impulse to make.
Jo Wilmot July 2016
Jo Wilmot artist/jeweller
Adelaide, South Australia
'pendulum' neckpiece 2014 rubber, brass, latex, photo: Grant Hancock
Emerging from careers in the performing and ceramic arts, my existence as a visual artist in the art jewellery field is not shaped by any singular vision. I see it as a vast new globally aware language that questions processes and the values of all materials as they are part of a diminishing resource. Whether trawling the burnt landscape for the transformational effects of fire, casting elaborate thumbprint swirls from fallen gums, exploring vortices, casts of casts; it is the ritual performative act of clearing off the debris around an idea and finding its essence that seeds the soul. Often finding an object’s presence involves materialising what is absent.
My work is included in private collections, the Art Gallery of SA and the QLD University of Technology.
'retro fan' 2014 cast brass elements, neoprene, photo: Grant Hancock
'figurative vessel' 1994 slip-cast porcelain 26 x 11.5cm
'womb and tomb' 1994 slip-cast mid-fire 22 x 50cm
'tango teapot' 1992 slip-cast porcelain 31 x 31cm
'womb and tomb' 1993 slip-cast porcelain 10 x 8.5cm 8 x 8cm
'maternal sea' 1999 slip-cast porcelain 29 x 32cm
'porcella' 1993 slip-cast porcelain, granite, fig. bottle 9 x 12cm
Zu Design Jewellery & Objects Gays Arcade Balcony (off Adelaide Arcade) Rundle Mall Adelaide SA 5000 +61 8 8224 0433
gray street workshop's 30th anniversary 'stargazy' cake, march 2015
Children are natural story tellers and drawing is their first tangible means of recording their real and imagined worlds. From rhythmic scribble, tadpole people, to fantasy creatures.....shared drawings are proud moments for both parent and child. It is both life affirming and celebratory to work with children's drawings to create wearable poetic keepsakes that honour the love of a child's individuality and creativity. Please visit my facebook page for more information. www.facebook.com/doodleitaustralia
Email drawings to email@example.com
'mummy' pendant 2015 laminate 925
'best friends' brooch 2015 laminate, 925
'Jae's dinosaur' neckpiece 2015 brass, neoprene
'joyful Lilly' drawing and neckpiece 2015 brass, neoprene
'Solastalgia' at Gray Street Worshop 30 Mar - 7 May 2017
'Solastalgia' Touring Exhibition
In the shadow of the growing consciousness and concern about the effects of climate change, is a collective anxiety about the passing of a once familiar and trusted experience of the natural world. Combining the Latin word solacium, meaning comfort, with the Greek root algia, meaning pain, Australian philosopher Glen Albrecht introduced 'Solastalgia' to our vernacular describing the sense of melancholia associated with the negative changes to our loved home environments. Investigating the intersection between human activity and the altered natural environments along our beaches, oceans, reefs and waterways, works by artists, Lesa Farrant, Claire Brooks, Leonie Westbrook, Njiree Paroolitilpa and Jo Wilmot speak from place between grief and hope to the growing movement that is driving initiatives that will positively impact on our environment.
Launched at Gray Street Workshop in March 2017 'Solastalgia' is a collaborative touring event that aims to connect Adelaide based jewellers/object makers with regional artists who wish to voice their personal or political take on the subject of climate change and unsustainable development. The exhibition features jewellery, image and objects responding to changing landscapes and ecologies.
"In the end our society will be defined not only by what we create, but what we refuse to destroy"
Embedded in the video installation and the 'oil slick' black porcelain and brass exhaust tubes in this series created for 'Solastalgia' is my deep fears for the future of the natural world. Early morning walks collecting and casting algae, seaweed and sea sponges washed up at Carpenter Rocks and Pelican Point in the South East seemed different last summer. The realization of the work felt like a last embrace; a lament for something that might soon be lost.
Sea grasses absorb 100 times more CO2 than our rain forests, filter pollutants, and provide important coastal protection. Sadly 95% of Tasmania's kelp forest has been lost in just 15 yearsdue to currents warming the coastal waters 3 times faster than anywhere else in the world,and in its wake 'barrens' of black sea urchins. It is an alarming signifier for the world's radically changing ecologies and the ramifications of climate change. It is hoped that this contribution to 'Solastalgia' draws attention to the plight of this little known nor respected ecosystem, the foundation for all ecosystems on the planet.
The title for the installation 'Dead mans fingers' is the common name for the Codium family of Algae. Thriving in low light and warmer waters, it is ironically one that may well survive into the future. The exhaust tube video installation shows the movement of the thick, silken fleshy hide of a five metre length of bull kelp dragged by the tides to the waters edge at Carpenter Rocks.
image: bull kelp, 2017 Carpenter Rocks
'Solastalgia' @ Murray Bridge Regional Gallery
1 Sept - 15 Oct 2017
The exhibition undertook a necessary realignment at its second location to include an important indigenous voice. The effect of environmental change has had the profoundest effect on our first nation people. Two collaborative works with indigenous artist Njiree Paroolitilpa entitled 'The Necklace' and 'The Gateway' were added to the existing exhibition. Underpinned by positive 'psychoterric' (psych-earth) emotions, vital to our mental and ecosystem health, the works were a light filled counterpoint to the the darker works in the exhibition.
The first of these works emerged whilst restringing vintage mother of pearl beads as Njiree shared dreaming stories and poems about ancestors and the spirit of the water. Like the protective layering of nacre and lustre that creates a pearl, story, friendship and connections grew around the bead project nourishing the shared hopes for an adaptive and positive future. Eight metres of the strung beads were woven into a giant string figure.
Filmed at the water's edge near Camp Coorong, Njiree and I also performed a large string figure called 'The Gateway' woven from many metres of tom-boy stitched rope. A qr link to the performance was also available in the gallery space. To see the video visit https://vimeo.com/232196353
Both works were accompanied by Njiree's poems, weaving the vital message about our connectedness to the living beings that are the oceans, rivers and lakes around us; with the indigenous connection to country, and family past, present and future.
'the necklace' 2017 collaboration with Njiree Paroolitilpa vintage MOP beads, silk, poem