Craft Victoria presents a major collaborative exhibition of works by acclaimed conceptual designers Alexi Freeman, Tessa Blazey and photographer Jane Burton.
Presenting Future Artefacts, the culmination of a seven-year collaboration between conceptual designers Alexi Freeman and Tessa Blazey, and an unveiling of new collaborations with photographer Jane Burton, sculptor Kate Rohde, and composer Byron Meyer.
Co-curated by Karen Woodbury and Craft Victoria, this exhibition opens in Craft Victoria’s new gallery space at Watson Place, just off Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
Freeman and Blazey’s collaborative practice identifies the human body as its primary site for exploration. Inspired by their shared love of Science Fiction and geometry, the artists are concerned with creating artisanal jewellery sculptures that utilise a combination of production techniques including ancient low-tech jewellery processes such as lost wax casting and chainmail construction, in combination with contemporary industrial manufacturing such as laser cutting. Freeman and Blazey think of their collaborative practice as the crafting of wearable sculptures that could potentially become artefacts of the future. The work explores a fascination with archaeology, evoking the imagined body through the design and production of wearable artefacts. This idea is further communicated through an evocative series of photographs in collaboration with contemporary art photographer Jane Burton which capture the moment that these future artefacts are discovered.
Future Artefacts, collaborative work by Alexi Freeman and Tessa Blazay, photograph by Jane Burton
As a collaborative duo, Alexi Freeman and Tessa Blazey have created a series of sculptural works together since 2010. During this time, these projects have evolved significantly as have their artisanal skills and grasp on contemporary modes of production. This fusion of skills combining visual arts concepts with jewellery techniques, textile and garment methods have resulted in the development of a unique visual arts practice which they continue to expand. Since 2010, Freeman andBlazey have produced a number of highly labour intensive conceptual jewellery sculptures. Their collaborative works have been exhibited at a range of public institutions including the Powerhouse Museum, Craft Victoria and the National Gallery of Victoria. The NGV invited them to present an open studio of their work as part of the Community Hall project, a key aspect of the Melbourne Now public programming. Their previous collaborative work has toured extensively via NETS and Future Artefacts issupported by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Jane Burton is a photographic artist known for her depictions of female sensuality and sexuality, brooding landscapes, derelict architectures and abandoned interiors. Her pictures are drenched in a dark moodiness of the Gothic and bathed in a light that is cinematic and dreamlike, evoking charged atmospheres of desire and melancholy, mystery and menace. Predominantly, an isolated female figure – more often a nude – anchors a mis-en-scène redolent of crime-scene noir, Romantic Painting and the horror genre: atmospheres that allude to intricate fictions and morbid melodrama. Played out in interior spaces and within the landscape, Burton’s figures – whether women or children – often appear ethereal; like ghostly incarnations of memories, dreams, and fantasies. They exist at the liminal threshold of presence and absence, shifting between the material world of flesh and blood and that of the spirit, the psyche and the deep subconscious. Jane has an established fine arts practice and has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally and her previous work is represented in major art collections including the National Gallery of Australia.