As part of Craft’s 2017 regional touring program, the exhibition Mayoral Chain will be displayed at Horsham Regional Gallery from 22 April – 11 June and Castlemaine's Buda House from 9 July – 27 August. Mayoral Chain is an exhibition developed by Craft for original display in 2015.
Featuring works by Alexi Freeman and Tessa Blazey, Anna Davern, Anna Varendorff, Claire McArdle, Kate Rohde, Marcos Guzman, Maree Clarke, Pennie Jagiello and Roseanne Bartley. Artist biographies available here.
Inspired by the craftsmanship and legacy integral to the Mayoral Chain, this exhibition unpacks traditional ways of making and traditional ceremonies within contemporary society. Historically town metalsmiths and the use of precious materials (such as gold) were commonplace in the production of ceremonial objects, today however jewellers use a larger array of materials to create objects that are embedded with symbols and ideas that reflect civic and personal pride. The Mayoral Chain is one of the last great ornate pieces of civic ceremonial costume that conveys many layers of history, status and community pride. Today’s traditional ceremonies rarely attract such elaborate adornments but the relationship exists particularly through the craftsmanship employed. Mayoral Chain, the exhibition, discusses the ways in which contemporary society has morphed the traditions of ceremonial jewellery into contemporary adornments.
10 contemporary Melbourne artists respond to the traditional Mayoral Chain, producing artworks that explore notions of grandeur and responsibility through materials and processes. The exhibition will include installations that challenge ideas surrounding wearability while interactive works question preciousness of material and production. The exhibition will also display more traditional responses to the Mayoral Chain that reflect technique and history.
Craft as a discipline has a history of enormous social and political power, this exhibition enables Victorian makers to make comment on the ways of making, progress in technology and industry and to discuss the social status of adornment through jewellery.