Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Book Review - Australia/New Zealand Jewellery


Sticks and stones may make this tome

A review by John McPhee (abbreviated)

Patricia Anderson’s Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New
Zealand, presents jewellery as a vital and innovative art form. It
deserves to be considered one of Australia’s most important
manifestations of contemporary art.

Devoted to art jewellery, the author carefully explains why the book
excludes glitzy jewellery - diamonds and gold and costume jewellery.
There is also an history of the making of art jewellery
in Australia and New Zealand and a fascinating timeline, detailing
important visitors, exhibitions and other seminal events from 1950 to
the present.

However, the jewellery and the often ravishing photographs make this
book essential reading. Sixty-three jewellers, including 16 from New
Zealand, exemplify almost every possible approach to contemporary
jewellery. While there are those who make use of precious materials,
and those whose work might appear conventional, there is also
jewellery made from scraps of plastic and wood, rusted iron,
worthless stone, driftwood and seed pods. The realms of invention are

Sadly there are no known Aboriginal jewellers working in a modern
idiom. The author suggests that while Aborigines continue to make
jewellery, the traditions are too strong to be broken. She also
points out just how little these traditions have influenced the
Western tradition of jewellery-making in Australia. Maori and
Polynesian traditions have been a strong and vital influence on the
work of almost all the New Zealand jewellers. Their work with stone,
bone, and wood is among the most beautiful. Warwick Freeman, who
occasionally exhibits in Australia, and Alan Preston, in particular,
stand out for their imaginative use of shells and stones.

Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand by Patricia
Anderson; Craftsman House A$80

Found at:

B r i a n A d a m R u t h B a i r d J e w e l l e r y ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND