Chrysalis group exhibition

I’m part of a group exhibition on now at Gaffa gallery in Sydney.

Chrysalis is a show with works from 24 artists all current or former students of Sydney College of the Arts’ Jewellery and Object studio. It is curated by Clare Hooper and Angela Porritt who have done an amazing job putting this show together! A special thanks to both of them and everyone else who helped get my work on the wall as I could only take them as far as the post office in Sweden (ok in this case hand it to the UPS-guy as it was a bit last minute). I wish I could have been in Sydney to see the show in person, but from what I’ve seen and heard through the Internet it is looking great. If you’re closer to Sydney than I am, do check it out it’s on until the 20th of January.

There is also an excellent website for the exhibition where you can find more information about each artist and the concept behind the show.

I sent three pieces; one from my graduating semester at SCA (see earlier post) and two new pieces also exploring the theme of proliferating patterns.

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Organic Partial Ring, 2013
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Organic Overlap Neckpiece (images 2-5), 2013
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

The Organic Overlap Neckpiece can be worn in many ways, some shown in the images above. It is two sided with the blue showing on one and yellow/purple on the other.


New work for Studio 20/17

Studio 20/17, another great Sydney gallery where I am proud to be represented, is doing a New Collections Showcase for the holiday season and I recently sent some new work their way. My new collection is the one I developed after our ”Scmucktrip” earlier in the year (shown here) with a few additions:

Safira Blom, Four, 2013
Neckpiece; 925 silver, hand cut and dyed PET plastic from fruit containers

Safira Blom, Five, 2013
Earrings; 925 silver, hand cut and dyed PET plastic from fruit containers

The New Collections Showcase is on display from the 3rd to the 24th of December at Studio 20/17, 2 Danks Street, Waterloo (Sydney), Australia

Past and future exhibitions

Time flies and all of a sudden it’s nearing the end of summer and I’m busy figuring out what I’m doing this autumn. I have my eyes on a few call outs for exhibitions and awards and would like to enter into everything I see! But I’m quickly realising this isn’t possible as there isn’t enough time nor other resources…however, here are some of the call outs I am considering:

Suspended in Green
Beijing International Jewelry Art Biennial

In the meantime I’ve completely forgotten to mention the exhibitions my work has already attended this year. I say work has attended because they have all been exhibitions in Australia, unfortunately while I have been here in Sweden.

But I am happy and honoured to have been represented by my work in:

Next Generation at Craft NSW

An exhibition organised by the lovely Natalie Fong together with Craft NSW. It was our class from SCA getting together and showing our work outside of the university context, for many for the first time. This is a photo I took just before I sent my work.

Safira Blom, Bells and Baskets, 2013
Brass, cotton thread, 925 silver, driftwood: hand constructed and woven

Safira Blom, Bells and Baskets: Blue Neckpiece, 2013
Brass, cotton thread: hand constructed and woven

The next exhibition was Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award. The work selected is from my Scar series which I am hoping to develop into a production line/series later this year.

Safira Blom, Scar Series: Frostbite Neckpiece, 2011
Titanium, 925 silver: hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

And as a part of the JMGA conference Participation + Exchange my work was also shown in Graduate Metal 13.

This is my favourite piece from my graduating work.

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Organic Neckpiece, 2012
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

All the finalists in Graduate Metal got teamed up with a student taking the curatorship course at Queensland College of Art to write the catalogue statement. The lovely Naomi O’Reilly interviewed my by e-mail and wrote this lovely piece about my work:

Stockholm artist, Safira Blom’s work draws inspiration from the natural environment that surrounds her. She utilises her own photography, as well as sourced images of nature and draws inspiration from scientific drawings by artists like Ernst Haeckel. Blom creates designs which mimic the organic patterns and connate repetition present on all observational layers of the environment. She states:

“I’m interested in the way nature – both on a macro and micro level – uses repetition and pattern to grow and create larger structures. You can often find similar patterns looking at aerial landscape photography as you can looking at cells through a microscope.” (Blom in interview with the author, 2013)

Blom’s practice focuses on elements of pattern, colour, form and repetition. Self-proliferating patterns organic neckpiece brings all these elements together. Constructed from titanium, which is heat treated to create the unique colouring, Blom begins by sketching the pattern. ‘A pattern that grows through each added line and can adapt to any shape’ (Blom, 2013). The desired form is then molded into the titanium using a hydraulic press and completed by painstakingly sawing the organic design by hand. Blom’s attention to detail can be observed in the care she has taken in contracting the chain, which continues the lines and patterns present in the pendants design.

Blom’s work is a beautifully constructed juxtaposition between the natural world and the hard industrial material intrinsic to metalsmithing. Her pieces combine elements of delicacy and strength as she carves these fragile patterns from solid metals. Blom has been working with the medium of jewellery for the past 5 years and is a recent graduate from the Sydney College of Arts.

Naomi O’Reilly

QCA Art Theory Elective Curatorship 2013

Safira Blom, Self Proliferating Patterns: Organic Neckpiece (detail), 2012
Titanium, 925 silver: hydraulic pressed, hand pierced, torch coloured and constructed

From what I’ve heard the exhibitions have been great and I’m eagerly awating some catalogues!

Underwater World

Safira Blom Underwater World Neckpiece

Underwater World: Neckpiece
23 x 17 x 4 cm
Brass, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

This ongoing series of work started at Uni when we had a project called Material Language with guest lecturer Melinda Young. (Check out Melinda’s work on her website and blog as she does some amazing stuff and if you ever get the chance to attend one of her workshops I highly recommend it as she is a great teacher!) In this project we were encouraged to take a closer look at different materials and what they bring to a piece of work. Reflecting upon what a material says through associations and experimenting with its inherent qualities opens up new thoughts and possibilities. For our own piece of work we had to choose a material that traditionally isn’t connected to jewellery and preferably something new and out of our personal comfort zones.

Below is the statement accompanying the piece I made and I feel it still stands as a good statement for the series that has since developed into both production and exhibition work.

Underwater World: Neckpiece (detail)

“I am normally drawn to natural materials and inspired by nature, so I tend to back away from using plastics as a material for my making. However, a growing awareness of the reluctance I have to this material poses a challenge to work with it; the challenge to make an artificial material speak the language of the natural world.

The tubular form, which has been a recurring theme in my work lately, also attracted me to PVC tubing and I saw an opportunity to work with this in reference to similar shapes in nature. PVC tubing having its’ references to water and fish tanks lead me to take a closer look at the underwater world and specifically the richness in form and colour of creatures that make up coral reefs. So with images of coral, anemones and sponges in my head I started working quite intuitively with the material.

The idea of making an ordinary and overlooked material into something beautiful and precious is something I hope can make us reflect upon value and disposability. With the care of making PCV tubing into considered handcrafted pieces of jewellery I think this material can be reconsidered.”

Underwater World: Evolution Brooch
5 x 5 x 6 cm
Brass, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

Underwater World: Earrings 7 x 4 x 2.5 cm 925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated Underwater World: Earrings
7 x 4 x 2.5 cm
925 silver, PVC: hand cut and dyed, fabricated

The rings are now part of my production work and I have come to realise how much I enjoy working with this material as it enables me to play with colour and form in a different way to metal.

Underwater Word: rings 925 silver or brass, PVC: hand cut and dyed

Underwater Word: Rings
925 silver or brass, PVC: hand cut and dyed

At the moment the rings are available at Sterling by gaffa in Sydney CBD, Gallery Aloft in Rozelle and Merge Contemporary Art Space in Mcquarie Centre. I’m hoping to get something going online soon and perhaps find some Swedish stockists too.

Safira Blom Underwater world rings circle