RJM V: Brisbane, Australia, July 2010
For the fifth installment of RJM, we traveled to Australia! The project took place at Queensland College of Art–Griffith University (QCA), with the exhibition opening at Artisan Gallery. Elizabeth Shaw, Convenor of Jewellery and Small Objects at QCA, organized the kick off symposium featuring an informed line-up of speakers: Design theorist and philosopher Tony Fry talked about forward thinking design strategies; jewellers Kim Thompson and Claire Poppi discussed their studio practices and how they integrate responsible responsible materials to create jewelry that does little harm, or even benefits the environment.
Brisbane, Australia resulted in a new opportunity for the project's values to continue being explored, even after the dust settled after a frenzied week. In order to address controversial metal and gemstone sourcing issues, a grant was set up using a portion of the proceeds raised through jewellery sales at Artisan. QCA's Jewellery and Small Objects program received this grant specifically for student research investigating responsible jewellery projects enabling Ethical Metalsmiths to guarantee that ongoing research would take place.
The impressive attendance at the opening exhibition was a great reward for all of the hard work invested by the jewellers and the organizers of the project. Artisan was full of festive, celebratory energy and the staff at the register managed the flood of sales beautifully. Artisan estimated that over 550 people saw the exhibition and that individuals are wearing 42 Makeover pieces today.