Jack Cunningham The Great Barrier (series)

The word Transplantation by definition means “something or someone moved to a new place”, and the exploration of this notion is something deeply personal. With our ever increasing methods of travel and international interaction via technological means, coupled with a historical and continued sense of displacement through immigration and asylum seeking, the notion of “transplantation” – including the feelings and “baggage” (excuse the pun) that comes with it are as relevant as ever to our contemporary lives.

Professor Norman Cherry of The University of Lincoln proposed and curated the “Transplantation”, and in a not-so-ironic and perfectly apt manner, the exhibition has been set up as a touring show, finding itself traveling the world and going through all the motions of migrating and being transplanted again and again.

The exhibition itself consists of new works created with the “transplantation” theme in mind, and showcases unique creations of twelve artisan jewellers from both the UK and Australia – a coupling with a rich history of migration, displacement and transplantation.

The art of jewellery making can often be overlooked as an explorative artistic practice, to something purely commercial, or decorative. However, the artists involved in “Transplantation” push the boundaries of these expectations and bring the idea of jewellery into wearable, portable, contemporary art.

The works in the show vary immensely, from the artists’ use of materials, to the ideas and images represented, to the varying forms, and the motivations explored. Each artist’s work is displayed in a separate cabinet with individual information for each piece, and each artist has explained the cultural, familial and artistic meanings, motivations and influences of their work in a specific artist panel.

While the works vary from fine silver and gold to plastic to found objects, the explorations of change and migration tie the show together, allowing each artist to express themselves fully with their own practice while still contributing to the feel and understanding of the show.

All the works are deeply personal, and push the boundaries of our understandings of jewellery both in our contemporary art landscape, and in regards to the stories our own jewellery can keep for ourselves.


Written by Charlotte Tegan


Image: Jack Cunningham The Great Barrier (series)


12th December 2013 – 1st February 2014

Webb Gallery

Queensland College of Art, 226 Grey St, South Bank


Curated by: Professor Norman Cherry, University of Lincoln



Jivan Astfaick (UK)

Roseanne Bartley (AU)

Nicholas Bastin (AU)

Norman Cherry (UK)

Lin Cheung (UK)

Jack Cunningham (UK)

Anna Davern (AU)

Joungmee Do (AU)

Sheridan Kennedy (AU)

Bridie Lander (UK/AU)

Jo Pond (UK)

Laura Potter (UK)


Next showings:


Macquarie University Art Gallery

Faculty of Arts, Building E11A at the end of Eastern Rd, Macquarie University, NSW 2109

7 February – 16 May


Craft ACT: Craft & Design Centre

180 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601

29 May – 12 July 2014


Craft Victoria

31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000

1-31 August 2014


Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart

Dunn Place, Hobert 7000

19 September – 23 November

Info not available

Info not available