A Fine Possession: Jewellery & Identity exhibition at the Powerhouse revisited

Posted: December 27, 2014 by Mo Crow in art exhibitions
Tags: , , ,

Armband-mwali-PNGToday I revisited “A Fine Possession : Jewellery & Identity” at the Powerhouse here in Sydney
On my first visit I met Truus and Joost Daalder who kindly signed my copy of “Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment” which is a must have book for any serious jewellery collector or maker especially considering the Powerhouse has not produced a catalogue for the show. They are a remarkable couple who have lent many intriguing pieces from their collection for the duration of the show.  Including this amazing New Guinea “Mwali” (photographed above)
you can see a much better photo of this piece on their “Ethnic Jewellery & Adornment” Facebook page here
Armband (mwali)
Armband with attachments, conus shell, Massin area, Papua New Guinea 1950-80
Private collection of Truus & Joost Daalder
The Kula Exchange Cycle
(transcribed below from the signage at the exhibition)
“The kula ring is a famous exchange cycle of shell necklaces (souvlava) and armbands (mwali) between trading partners of the Massin region in Papua New Guinea.
Travelling in opposite directions (souvlava clockwise and mwali anticlockwise), the ornaments were temporary gifts that bestowed prestige on the owners as they travelled. They were exchanged in elaborate ceremonies and sometimes acquired attachments. The older, larger and further it travelled, the greater it’s value.”
Dinka man's-corsetMan’s Corset (malual)
Glass beads, wire
Dinka people, South Sudan East Africa 1900’s
Men & Adornment (text transcribed below from the exhibition)
“These colourful beaded corsets advertise a young man’s search for a wife. They firmly restrict a man’s figure, forming an attractive shape. Usually made by women, the colours of the beads hold special significance to the man’s clan and their beliefs.”
Here’s a photo of a young warrior wearing a similar corset from (page 51) of “Africa Adorned” by Angela Fisher 1984
Dinka-warrior-Africa-adorned-p-51-by-Angela-FisherI took 174 photos most of which were trashed because I was not allowed to use a flash but here’s a selection
Solomon-Islands-breast-ornamentBreast Ornament from the Pacific Islands
Clam shell ring decorated with possum teeth, trade beads, seed pods 1880-1920
Worn by men of chiefly status to denote their power and authority
woman's head ornamentWoman’s head ornament (chodpan)
India, Ladakh early 20th C
H app 24cm H of silver, amber and turquoise finial 4.5cm
Coral, turquoise, amber, silver, leather
Private collection of Truus & Joost Daalder
Rui-Kikuchi-Combs-for-Otohime-2010Combs for Otohime
hairpins, PET bottles, silver
Rui Kikuchi (1982-)
Osaka, Japan 2010
Acrylic, polyester, polyurethane, foam, paint, silver
Peter Chang (1944-)
Glasgow, Scotland 2004
Margaret-West Semi-breve neckpiece
Guitar string, stone, paint, Margaret West (1936-2014) Sydney 1996
Helge-Larsen-Darani-Lewers Two brooches
Sterling silver
Helge Larsen and Darani Lewers 1959
Private collection of Larsen & Lewers
feather-pendant by Mavis GanambarrPendant necklace
Lorikeet feathers, pandanus fibre, bush string
Mavis Ganambarr (1966-)
Datiwuy people, Galiwin’ku, Northern Territory 2009
The artist is a master weaver of the Datiwuy people, who was taught traditional weaving skills by her mother

I promise to go back soon to take lots more photos to share
The exhibition is on ’til September 2015 so if you are in Sydney it’s a must see!

  1. Even though I am not some one who wears jewellry, I love the artistry of adornment. These look amazing.

  2. Valerianna says:

    Beautiful stuff!! I’ve just caught up with you, scrolling back and back. So glad your roof is fixed! Happy belated Solstice, Christmas and whatever else you might celebrate. 🙂

  3. An amazing feast for the eyes, Mo – thanks for sharing this!

  4. fiberels says:

    Beautiful ! (thanks)
    Looks like a lot of new inspiration for you, Mo …. !

    (All the best (if I didn’t tell you that already) 😉 !)

  5. Thanks especially fro the link to the FB page . . . I liked it immediately!

  6. Carol says:

    On til September – good! Looks marvellous, Mo, and I can see why you’d go several times. BTW, I chose to go to Artsite on a Tuesday when it was closed! Why didn’t I check? So sorry to have missed it…

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Carol, I am looking forward to seeing this show again to sketch the details, photos are one thing but I get to know things better by drawing them & hey, no worries re Artsite, there’s always the next show!

  7. saskia says:

    wow to all of this, the first piece is my favourite!

    • Mo Crow says:

      I am very chuffed with that photo Saskia, can you imagine living with the power of that piece in your own home? Truus & Joost Daalder lent the Powerhouse 50 of their most fabulous pieces for the duration of the show, if you want to give yourself a treat their book is a treasure.

  8. velma bolyard says:

    i love looking at how people make adornment. there’s a weird tiny woman hereabouts who doesn’t speak but wears dozens of tiny plastic children’s barrettes in her hair.

please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.