Untitled: Domestic Violence - Holding Place

Materials: Sterling silver, linen and thread, broom handle
Dimensions: 525mm x 400mm x 240mm total are.

Untitled: Domestic Violence
Sugar bowl, hand raised and lost wax casting.
Milk jug, hand raised and lost wax casting.
Hand embroidered linen cloth.

Photo credit: Christopher Hardwick

Christopher Ronald Hardwick
Imbil, Queensland. Australia

I am a mature age student who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2012 and will be completing honors in 2013.
My current art practice as a Metal smith and Jeweler involves the creating of small objects and jewellery. Each work of art is hand crafted with the intent of developing a dialogue within the public sphere regarding masculinity and its impact on women and children through the misuse of power resulting in domestic violence. My research into masculinity, child abuse, discrimination, sexuality and gender issues has led me to reflect on a deeper understanding of my life experiences. These experiences involved reflections of domestic violence and how these forces relate to my mother and daughter allowing me to recontextualise these memories in small objects and wearable jewelry.

These containers and vessels definitely hold their place in the world of stunning art objects as well as in the world of metalsmithing.

Since the dawn of time humans have created containers to hold things that were important to them, from large vessels to hold food and harvests to intimate containers for small precious things. They might hold memories, ashes, medicine, beverage, fruit or food - but all spring from the imagination and skill of the maker. Some have specific religious functions, some are meant for everyday use. When one thinks of a vessel or container the inclination is to think of something with solid walls - yet many of these works involve the exploration of positive and negative space, and the use of negative space to help create the illusion of the wall of the vessel.

As the world’s largest jewelry related internet site, Ganoksin strives to develop exhibitions showcasing work from around the world. This exhibition was open to all metalsmiths, professional and amateur, advanced and beginner. Participants are from The Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Colombia, Romania, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia and Denmark. While most of the pieces are by an individual metalsmith, some are collaborations, one of three artists spanning 50 years.

In total 319 artists contributed 729 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition.

Objects in the exhibition include boxes, lockets, urns, ash containers, bowls, wine cups, reliquaries, match holders, vases, teapots, pitchers, sugar bowls, baskets, nests, pillboxes, clutches and a range of sculptural forms. A variety of techniques are showcased covering a wide range of metalsmithing techniques. Materials used include everything from gold and silver to less expensive metals. Ornamentation includes the addition of enamel, chasing and repousse’, gemstones and found objects.

The exhibition was curated by Beth Wicker, President of the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths in the United States, and Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern Technical College in South Carolina. Director of the exhibition is Hanuman Aspler, founder of The Ganoksin Project, the world’s largest internet jewelry site.