Flora | Julie Blyfield | Irene Belfi Gallery
Yet again I am convinced that a photography cannot convey true craftsmanship and beauty. In the case of jewelry everything is complicated by the lack of tactile and physical function. To appreciate the jewelry you should held it in your hands, feel the weight and texture, wear it.
I went to the Irene Belfi Gallery with curiosity and interest to see live the works of the famous Australian artist. Blyfield exhibits her work internationally and has pieces in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and Victoria & Albert Museum in London. On my way to the gallery I could not imagine how much the Julie’s work would impress me.
Her passion for jewelry began in 1974 when Blyfield studied at Torrens College to be a secondary school art teacher. There she was introduced to the basic jewelry techniques. For many years Julie taught jewelry making in secondary schools while making her own pieces at home. Later she took courses in enameling, chasing and repoussé and in 1985 joined the jewelry collective Gray Street Workshop. This partnership lasted 23 years.
Since 2010 Blyfield has created jewelry, sculptures and small-sized vessels in her studio in Adelaide, the Australia’s southern coast city.
The flora is a major source of inspiration for Julie. She likes to walk in the Botanical Garden of Adelaide and collect seeds, plants, leaves.
Julie’s favoured medium of expression is silver. It is malleable and allows the artist to interpret the softness and elegance of plants, their flexibility. She creates incredible textured surfaces, using traditional silversmithing hand skills such as hammering, chasing, punching and piercing. Rhythmical repetitive patterns are the essential element of her artistic aesthetics. The delicate interplay of shadow and light gives the silver pieces lightness and weightlessness.
Through the work Julie focuses on the unique details of her home places reflecting the diversity, history and colors of her country.