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Alberta Vita and Lucia Davanzo in conversation with Melbourne jewelers Elfrun Lach and Teresa Lane.
About the speakers
Alberta Vita was born in Italy in 1956. She studied at the Pietro Selvatico Art Institute of Padua where she graduated in 1975, where she later also taught between 1989-1996. She has taken part in numerous exhibitions worldwide and her works are exhibited on a permanent basis in the Museo d’Arti Applicate, Musei Civici di Padova.
The choice of dedicating herself to contemporary jewellery stemmed from the influence received from other artists in Padua such as Francesco Pavan, Giampaolo Babetto, Piergiuliano Reveane. Her research stems from the study of pure geometrical forms and from the passion for precious stones. Her works present movement, reflect light and different colour tones created by the moving stones in her pieces.
Alberta is the ambassador for Peace Marker Italy, and one of 198 collaborating artists working together to shape the global peace offering known as the Worldwide Peace Marker Project. She is widely known for her unique and innovative studio jewellery. Her approach to her art is sculptural with a meticulous penchant for symmetries of elegant and precise intersections of geometry and meaning.
Alberta liberates raw gems to yield their beauty while masterfully shielding the gems private mysteries from the possessor of the work. She gives us a new way to experience wearable art. Alberta extends the utility of a ring or a necklace into a narrative of respect for the natural beauty of the earth and an understanding of the elegant way by which we, and everything else, are ultimately connected as one.
Born in 1954 Lucia Davanzo studies in the Istituto statale d’Arte at ‘Pietro Selvatico’; Lucia Davanzo’s work has since the early days focussed on geometrical shapes. Her re-interpretation of these forms, typical of artists from the School of Padua, has led her to create pieces that have an aerial, light appearance. Fine gold and silver threads are bound onto a frame-like structure, resulting in a play on perspectives.
Alongside these aerial pieces, Davanzo, in time, added other works of a more constructed aspect, occasionally combining coloured stones or coloured surfaces with gold and oxidised silver. Her latest works have also seen the introduction of solid structures, but seem to be a combination of the two approaches. Here too, the use of colour on the surfaces gives depth to her jewellery. Many of the pieces have mobile parts, establishing an interactive relationship with the observer.
In 1989 Lucia was awarded 1st prize exaequo, Deutsches Gold Schmiedehaus, Hanau, Germany. She has taken part in numerous exhibitions both in Museums and private galleries in Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland and USA. Davanzo’s work is part of the permanent collection of the Applied and Decorative Arts Museum of Padua. Her work was selected to take part in the first edition of the exhibition Pensieri Preziosi in Padua in 2004. Her work has been featured in several publications on an international level.
Elfrun Lach completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Gold and Silversmithing, RMIT University, 2004, followed by Honours, 2005, and a Master of Art, 2010. Elfrun has exhibited her jewellery since 2001. Highlights include SOFA New York and Chicago, Charon Kransen Arts, New York, 2009; Jewellery Topos, Galerie Marzee, The Netherlands, 2009; and Beyond Metal: Contemporary Australian Jewellery and Holloware (toured to India, Malaysia and Singapore), 2007. Her work is held in private collections in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, USA and Japan.
“My jewellery results from ongoing research into the historic use, depiction and symbolism of coral in connection with making contemporary artefacts. Coral is one of the oldest materials used for human adornment, and because of its difficulty to obtain, has been simulated throughout history by bone, glass, wood, porcelain and plastic.
The process of simulation, substitution of materials and the combination of precious and found objects is relevant to all my work. I want to generate readings concerning human interaction with the environment, and question the ethical use of materials and the nature of the real and the represented.”
Teresa Lane completed a Masters of Fine Art at RMIT University in 2006. For the last two years she has lived in Europe, participating in artist residencies in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and Tallinn, Estonia. In Estonia she coordinated an international AIR program within independent culture factory Polymer Kultuuritehas, and created a permanent public artwork. Her jewellery was exhibited as part of the Schmuck 2007 exhibition, Munich. Teresa has since staged solo exhibitions in Germany, Estonia and at Pieces of Eight Gallery.
Unconventional in her use and combination of materials, Teresa can be described as a true renegade jeweller, out to tell her story in unexplored ways. Drawing out the heart of steel as an expressive medium, Teresa has combined this with glass enamel, gold; and mysterious silver/copper alloys (shibuichi) to creating objects that tell their own tale of love.
“The narrative of my work concerns sadness, anger, paranoia, love, beauty and other emotional states. This is represented in absurdity and abstract figurative jewellery forms and larger sculptures. In making objects I use metal (particularly steel), vitreous enamel, stone and wood, interacting with the specific making processes to form and informing the outcomes of the art objects.”
Storey Hall is located diagonally opposite Melbourne Central Railway Station and can be reached by trams traveling on Swanston and La Trobe Streets, including the City Circle Tram.
Limited street parking is available.