Makigawa ‘links’ jewellery with ease

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Necklace “667” in Carlier Makigawa’s “Linked” exhibition… silver, niobium.

Craft / “Linked” by Carlier Makigawa, at Bilk until February 29. Reviewed by MEREDITH HINCHLIFFE.

CARLIER Makigawa is a highly respected Australian jeweller who has worked for more than 40 years. Her work is recognised around the world as being innovative because she pushes boundaries with her techniques and is always exploring new ways of executing her ideas and concepts.

This exhibition shows a departure from the constructed, framed and contained works she has exhibited for many years. She has joined hundreds of tiny handmade links in silver, monel and titanium to create a range of neckpieces and bracelets that drape the body. They are slinky, sinuous and silky.

An oxidised silver brooch with vintage beads by Carlier Makigawa.

Each piece is identified by a number, which relates to the quantity of links used. A necklace in silver – “589” – falls around the wearer’s neck and moves when her body moves. A double loop adds to the draping qualities. Two pieces, “414”, silver, and “634”, silver titanium, are three dimensional, with perhaps a reference to the container from earlier work.

“505” and “226” necklaces of large links, combined with small squares of linked chain bring together the different sized links Makigawa makes. These pieces sit beautifully around the neck.

There is a comfortable ease about these works – ease in that they are thoughtfully and superbly made, and ease for the wearer. I also sense a slight reference to works made around the turn of the 20th century.

This exhibition is the last Bilk will mount at the current address. This tiny gallery has made a huge contribution to the contemporary jewellery scene in Canberra. It has given opportunities to many artists – local, national and international. And just as importantly it has given Canberrans and others the opportunity to see an enormous sweep of contemporary jewellery and miniature works in glass.


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