For those uninitiated in the field of contemporary jewellery, it can be a little hard to know where to start. So, I thought I would curate a list of places on where to buy contemporary jewellery here in Australia. There are more excellent establishments then what I’ve got below, but to keep it succinct and geographically diverse, I’ve got eight places to start with.
Funaki is the first contemporary jewellery gallery in Australia and has been an integral part of the Melbourne art scene for more than 25 years. It’s founder under the same name, Mari Funaki was an incredible sculptor and jeweller in her own right. It has an incredible selection of some of the biggest names in art jewellery, both internationally and domestic. The pieces here are rich in story and layered ideas, with many one-off and limited run works that create special connections between the wearer and maker. Mari Funaki legacy lives on through the Mari Funaki biennial contemporary jewellery award, which short lists incredible established and emerging artists from around the world. Temporarily, online only, Funaki will be back in the Melbourne CBD in late 2021 and continue to run under the helm of Katie Scott.
KIN Gallery has been a Braddon local favourite since their 2015 inception, in rejuvenating temporary pop-up spaces. KIN is owned by Ingrid Lockley-Penc, another graduate of ANU School of art. The space offers fresh easy to wear contemporary jewellery from both new and established makers that come from art, craft and trade backgrounds. KIN gallery is also the space where I had my first solo exhibition back in 2017. The exhibition was a part ANU Emerging Artist Support Scheme, and I was super lucky to have the chance to develop production work off the back of my first body of work that I created in my third year in the Gold and silversmithing workshop at ANU. The gallery has now grown to house over 65 Australian artists as well as host workshops and master classes from visiting artists. An excellent place to try your hand creating something of your very own.
E.G. Etal is a contemporary jewellery store nestled downstairs on flinders lane in the middle of Melbourne CBD. They offer a selection of contemporary jewellery and alternative high-end engagement pieces from Australian & New Zealand artists. And have been showcasing work for twenty-three years. It’s a delight to visit whenever I visit Melbourne.
Courtesy of the Artist
Courtesy of the Artist is in the gorgeous historic strand arcade in Sydney CBD. COTA started in 2005 in the form of Metalab by ANU gold and silversmithing alumni, Ceasar Cueva alongside partner Nina Cueva. They have had an ever-evolving stable of artists and exhibitions through their doors. One are of focus of theirs is Rare Earth: Australian Made – it’s “the reimagining of contemporary fine jewellery. Showcasing the individual work by six resident artists” including Cinnamon Lee (another G&S alumni), “celebrate some of Australia’s most coveted gemstones from the complex beauty of parti sapphires from Central Queensland with colours of sea green, vivid teal and cobalt blue… to the magical beauty found in our precious champagne and cognac diamonds from Western Australia.”