Artists from across the Torres Strait were introduced to the possibilities of the growing Indigenous contemporary craft movement when the Gab Titui Cultural Centre hosted the Indigenous Jewellery Project (IJP) earlier this year.
IJP founder and curator, Emily McCulloch Childs, and contemporary jeweller, Melinda Young, hosted the week-long workshop, which taught artists new techniques in jewellery making and design. Artists worked in lost wax and wire and created pieces to be cast using a foundry into their final metal forms.
Emily, who is co-director of the multi-faceted Australian art company McCulloch & McCulloch, says the IJP was created out of a desire to see more Indigenous jewellers represented in the growing national contemporary jewellery scene.
“We are trying to bring Indigenous art into the contemporary craft space and at the same time encourage contemporary jewellery into the Indigenous art space. So part of this project is to get the work into spaces where it hasn’t been before, such as contemporary craft galleries and awards”, said Emily.
For artists living in communities throughout the Torres Strait, this was an opportunity to learn from industry professionals and to form connections with one another.
“This is a whole new level for us”, said workshop participant and local jeweller Rosaline Tomsana.
Main image credit: Laura Mooka with her piece created during the workshop. Image: Christina Tully, Torres Strait Regional Authority