Body Layer; Semblance and Self // Artist biographies and statements

Zoe Brand, WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIS, 16 colour printed images, ABS plastic display, 2015. Photo: Andy Mullens


Zoe Brand


Born in Brisbane, Australia in 1984. Zoe Brand completed an Advanced Diploma in Jewellery and Object Design at Design Centre, Enmore, TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute. In 2014 Brand completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts majoring in Gold and Silversmithing at the Australian National University. 2015 She finished her Bachelor of Visual Arts with First Class Honours at the same university. Brand has exhibited in many group shows in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Ge​rmany, France and Estonia and her work is held in a number of significant private collections. Brand was also recently the Director of the Personal Space Project, a gallery located in her bedroom.


I make jewellery that uses jewellery archetypes, ready mades and text to explore the performative nature of jewellery as a device for communication. I am concerned with finding language that can describe both the object or the idea of the object, as well as the person who might wear the piece.

I see possibility in mundane, everyday throwaway statements. I collect, examine and remove them from conversation and build the text into signs. I like to draw upon the ambiguity of language, of the numerous readings and associations that any one word may possess, as well as how the meaning changes when a work moves from wall to body and back again.

Roseanne Bartley, Manual How to make a Daisy Chain, 2017-20. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Roseanne Bartley 

Roseanne Bartley is a New Zealand born Melbourne based settler artist, writer and educator. From her training in contemporary jewellery she developed an interest in the performative attributes of adornment which she expands upon through object, social and performance making. Through iterative use of text, action, and trace her works poetically tell of the common and uncommon links between adornment, language and place making. Jewellery she notes, is one means by which we articulate becoming human in all its diverse forms. The value and meaning of adornment may arise in individual and collective acts of doing as much as reside in the effects of a precious object or thing.

Roseanne graduated with a practice based Phd from the RMIT School of Architecture and Urban Design in 2018 Her work has featured in national and international exhibitions, publications and festivals. These include: The Language of Things; The Dowse Art Museum Wellington (2018); After Wearing: A History of Gestures, Actions and Jewelry – Pratt Institute, New York (2015); Unexpected Pleasures – National Gallery of Victoria and the Design Museum, UK (2012-13); and Melbourne Now – NGV (2013–14).

Roseanne’s work resides in collections of the NGV, Powerhouse Museum and Toowoomba Regional Gallery and has been supported by Australian Council (2001, 2004, 2006, 2012) and Arts Victoria (2001, 2008).


Tacit knowledge is embodied knowledge; it’s the implicit personalized know how we acquire when doing things. Speaking on the problem of articulating tacit knowledge Michael Polanyi once noted that we can know more than we can tell; although as Tim Ingold points out in his book Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, and Architecture (Routledge 2013) there are multiple ways and means by which we can affect the tell.

In this compilation of things, I endeavoured to tell; voice, trace, betray my own embodied knowledge by expanding upon the methods and rationale through which to articulate it. Engaging in this exercise reminded me that the experience of knowing is social and non-linear, often localized yet difficult to pin down in one place or time and frequently infused with habits and bias. Who knew the making and unmaking of daisy chain could teach you such things?

Liesbet Bussche, Streets and Stones. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Liesbet Bussche 


Liesbet Bussche (1980, Antwerp, BE) studied Jewellery Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam where she graduated in 2009. In 2016, she obtained her master’s degree at the Jewellery Design department of St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp. Besides running her own art practice in Amsterdam, she has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2016-2020) and worked as a researcher at St Lucas Antwerp (2011-2020). Currently, she is pursuing her PhD in the Arts at Hasselt University and the PXL-MAD School of Arts in Hasselt (2020-2024). In this PhD, she investigates the interrelation between jewellery and the city, and how, as a potential democratic context for the jewellery field and by extension the design field, jewellery in the guise of socio-cultural artefacts can intertwine with the public space.


In her artistic practice, Liesbet Bussche explores jewellery as a phenomenon intimately and publicly related to people and society, taking the substantive and formal characteristics of archetypal jewellery embedded in our collective memory as research grounds. Her body of work is rooted in jewellery but transcends its disciplinary boundaries. Her modus operandi is characterized by a research-based and conceptual approach, and results in self-initiated and commissioned installations, objects, printed matter and texts in which the public space is both a source of inspiration and an area of intervention.


Jing He, Potential Pin (video still), 2015. Filmed by Liao Fan

Jing He


Jing He (1984, Kunming, China) holds a Master degree from Design Academy Eindhoven (NL),  a Bachelor degree from Gerrit Rietveld Academie(NL) and a Bachelor degree from Central Academy of Fine Art (CN).

Jing He’s interest in culture, politics and the history behind various daily objects, leads to imaginative visual representations involving various materials and mediums. During the creation of her works, she is open to collaboration with people from different disciplines. Her works are rich in the details of daily life and her compassion for social phenomena comes from both where she has been raised and where she currently lives. Jing He refers to herself as a cultural hybrid. The same seems to be true for her works. They are hybrids between different creative disciplines, cultures, co-creators, materials and mediums.

Jing He's works have been included in the collection of The Art of Institute of Chicago (US), and Françoise van den Bosch Foundation (NL) collection, which is held by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL). She was nominated in the final list of Hublot Deseign Prize 2018, The Best of DDW (Dutch Design Week) 2016. She is the winner of Gijs Bakker Award 2016. 


Jing He likes to research on subjects concerning the archetypes of jewellery, for instance, the pin of the brooch, the string of the necklace and the circle of the ring. Among these basic elements, the pin attracts her a lot as it involves mechanical movement, function of connection, hardness of the substance, the motion of sharpening the pin, and wearing. It also raises many questions, such as what is the difference between a pin and a brooch, and where is the border between them? And how do they work?

Cara Johnson, Apple sapling, 2021, Apple sapling, found baling twine. Photo: Cara Johnson

Cara Johnson 


Cara Johnson’s craft-based works interrogate tensions surrounding land use. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (First Class Hons.) at RMIT University in 2016 and is a current PhD Candidate and sessional lecturer in RMITs School of Art. Recent solo exhibitions include Understory at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and Three Trees at Craft. Cara has also exhibited widely nationally and internationally, notably Paper Art 2017 at CODA Museum in the Netherlands and at Gallery Funaki in Melbourne, and her works were selected for Schmuck 2021 in Munich as well as the upcoming Woollahrah Small Sculpture Prize in Sydney. Cara’s works are held in various private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria.


apple sapling 2021 Apple sapling, found baling twine

Most of the year I don’t notice the young apples trees that have been brought here by birds, but once the weather starts to cool their yellowing leaves give them away as a plant that’s not meant to grow here. I pulled an apple sapling from the ground and cut it into beads, making sure to keep them in the sequence that they grew. I stripped the thin grey bark away with a knife and gently held and carved each little bit of tree. The apple sapling will not become an old tree and I’m not entirely sure if I’ve reconciled that, but I am attempting to acknowledge this conflict by honouring it with time and thought.

unravelling 2021 Found baling twine

My time became consumed with string making. My fingers became blistered and callused. I separated the rough plastic fibres of the baling twine and then rolled them between my thumb and forefinger, until I found a rhythm. I was processing the material. These plastic fibres were manufactured to hold together bales of hay, or more simply - to contain plants. I found the lengths of twine snagged on barbed wire or in tangles half buried in dirt. I chose to work with this material for the tensions that it holds - it is representative of a desire to control. This bundle of string contains within it countless hours of labour, and I could just hang it in the shed alongside coils of machine made rope.

Lauren Kalman, Device for Filling a Void, 2019. Gold-plated electroformed copper, brass. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Lauren Kalman


Lauren Kalman is a visual artist based in Detroit, whose practice is rooted in the history of adornment, contemporary craft, sculpture, video, photography and performance. Through her work she investigates constructions of the ideal, the politics of craft, the body, and the built environment through performances using her body.

Raised in the Midwest, Kalman completed her MFA in Art and Technology from the Ohio State University and earned a BFA with a focus in Metals from Massachusetts College of Art. She apprenticed and was staff at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture, where she was trained in  foundry with a focus on ceramic shell casting, metal chasing, and welding

Kalman exhibits and lectures internationally. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Museum of Arts and Design, Cranbrook Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Mint Museum, and the World Art Museum in Beijing, among others. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Detroit Institute of Art.

She has been awarded residencies at the Bemis Center, the Australian National University, the Corporation of Yaddo, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Brush Creek Arts Foundation, Haystack, and Santa Fe Art Institute. She has received Ponyide, Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Puffin Foundation West and ISE Cultural Foundation Emerging Curator grants.

She has taught at institutions including Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently she is an associate professor at Wayne State University.


Devices for Filling a Void combines jewelry, with forms reminiscent of reconstructive surgical devices and amorphous bodily forms. Rather than presenting or holding the body in an ideal position, they distort the body through actions that are sometimes grotesque or violent. The objects literally fill the voids of the body, but the forms also imply a psychological filling of emotional or erotic voids. The work points to ideas about women being incomplete or lacking, requiring augmentation by men, objects, dress, makeup and adornment.



matt lambert 


lambert presents body and body related objects approached through the vernacular of jewelry to create space for the viewer to question positionality, fixedness, and chimerism that goes beyond binary thinking. It is in the inhabited of these queer [and/or] liminal spaces that these interactions gain their strength as a force that is yet to be fully explored for its potential as a terroristic act to westernized and colonial institutions. lambert collaborates with multi-media artists of a vast array of disciplines to reconfigure the current cultural systems of queerness and body politic while challenging the boundaries of craft. By unpacking the witnessing of toxic intimacies and the embedded systems of oppression rooted into the geological strata of culture and land lambert is interested in ways to disrupt and subvert these mechanisms through a chimerical practice of making, collaborating, writing and curating to create systems for platform building and methodologies to talk with and not at in regards to the othered body. 


matt lambert is a non-binary, trans, multidisciplinary collaborator and co-conspirator working towards equity, inclusion, and reparation. They are a founder and facilitator of The Fulcrum Project and currently are a PhD student between Konstfack and University of Gothenburg in Sweden. They hold a MA in Critical Craft Studies from Warren Wilson College and an MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art. 
lambert currently is based in Stockholm Sweden and was born in Detroit MI, US where they still maintain a studio. They have exhibited work nationally and internationally including at: Turner Contemporary, Margate, Uk, ArkDes, and Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden, Museo de la Ciudad, Valencia , Spain and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, US. lambert represented the U.S in Triple Parade at HOW Museum, Shanghai, China, represented the best of craft in Norway during Salon del Mobile, Milan, Italy and was the invited feature at the Benaki Museum, Athens ,Greece during Athens Jewelry Week. lambert has actively contributed writing to Art Jewelry Forum, Garland, Metalsmith Magazine, Klimt02, Norwegian Craft and the Athens Jewelry Week catalogues and maintains a running column titled Settings and Findings in Lost in Jewelry Magazine.


Claire McArdle, PLY neckpieces. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Claire McArdle 


Claire won the Itami Award at the 2019 ITAMI International Jewellery Exhibition at The Museum of Arts and Crafts in Itami, Japan, first prize at both Contemporary Wearables '13 in 2013 and the National Contemporary Jewellery Award in 2016 and received the Excellence Award at the Victorian Craft Awards in 2017. In 2018 her work was collected by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. She has held solo exhibitions in Australia, Estonia, Germany and Thailand. Her work has been exhibited in Thailand, Hong Kong, USA, UK, Germany, France, Estonia, Austria and The Netherlands. She has undertaken residencies in Australia, Mexico, Iceland and Estonia. She is currently undertaking a PhD at RMIT University, Melbourne.


Ply:      to work steadily with a tool
             to practice regularly
             to repeatedly supply
  Plier:    a hand tool used to hold objects firmly
              a person or thing that plies
  From the Latin plicāre: bend/fold.
PLY explores the bending of metal with pliers. An action performed by jewellers and metalsmiths innumerable times in their career, but an act which is often unobserved, shrouded in the mysteries of the solitary workshop. This performative work exaggerates the action and brings the process of making into public view.

Kristina Neumann, Boxed Sill, 2019. 925 silver, Canberra red brick, polymer clay, stainless steel, glue 25x75x23mm. Photo: Simon Cottrell

Kristina Neumann


Kristina Neumann is an emerging artist & designer/maker from Canberra. Her work has been recognised through a number of awards and prizes, including the Talente 2020: International Craft Exhibition Prize, at the Handwekskammer in Munich, Germany; the Toowoomba Regional Gallery Contemporary Wearables Prize and the CAPO Robert Foster Memorial Award. She graduated with first class honours from the Australian National University in 2019.



In Australia, millennials experience anxieties with respect to housing when leaving the family home. Kristina Neumann's pieces engage with themes that respond to the experience of the 'home' for Australian millennials. The investigation is explored through the field of contemporary jewellery, an appropriate vehicle due to it qualities of emotiveness, portability and familiarity. This practice-led research establishes a visual language through experiments with materials and forms taken from her past and present homes. 
Explorations of materiality, using soft and hard surfaces, provide a sense of internal and external spaces. Architectural references used as motifs, reminiscent of security and stability, elicit an emotional response from the viewer. Recognisable form and materiality strongly communicate themes of 'home'. A talisman for her generation is created when her jewellery references architectural details, recognisable forms and materiality. The architectural and material aspects of the work can be interpreted directly or indirectly, allowing for subjective interpretations.

Tiffany Parbs, Worn (from smother series), 2018. Photo: Tobias Titz


Tiffany Parbs 


Tiffany Parbs is a conceptual jeweller. Her practice explores a worn body, highlighting discrepancies between a changing body narrative and media representations of women. As part of this process she observes herself and others; how people live within their skin, communicate value and present their sense of self.

Parbs fosters innovation and experimentation in her practice, actively seeking expanded definitions of jewellery to challenge extend perceptions of the medium.  In 2018 she was formally recognised for innovation in contemporary practice when awarded as a Creator through Creative Victoria's inaugural Creators Fund. Australia Council for the Arts funding was also awarded in 2018 for smother, a solo exhibition project at Craft Victoria Melbourne. She continues to exhibit nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions including Made/Worn; Australian Contemporary Jewellery Australian Design Centre Sydney (touring 2020-22) | Desire Paths Center for Craft Asheville North Carolina US (2021) and Body Control Arnheim Museum The Netherlands (2019).

Parbs' work is represented in the Modern Jewellery Collection National Museums of Scotland Edinburgh UK, Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections Manchester UK, Rare Books Collection State Library of Victoria Melbourne Australia, private collections and referenced in contemporary jewellery publications worldwide. 


smother forms part of a larger body of research of the same title, seeking to investigate contrary frameworks used to depict women by the media; the psychological impact on individuals concerned and pervasive influences on socialisation and attitudes towards women in the wider populace.

Within this assertion, smother examines the gap between the visceral reality of motherhood and gamut of unrealistic expectations placed on mothers from external influences. The suggested title refers to smother’s starting point, the saturation of ‘Ideal Mother’ myths permeating western advertising  that promote nurturing perfection and unattainable standards.

Halie Rubenis, Legacy Left. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Halie Rubenis 


Halie Rubenis has studied art, design, object and jewellery at Melbourne Polytechnic, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the Australian National University where she was awarded 1st Class Honours (2014). Aside from having projects featured in many curated national exhibitions, Halie has also worked across the commercial and non-profit art and design sectors in business, marketing, strategic management and creative direction. Halie has completed commissions for cultural organisations including the Museum of Australian Democracy and National Arboretum and most recently in December 2020, Halie won the Australian National Contemporary Jewellery Award (NCJA) for a neck piece made from white bread. 



This work is conceptually driven by the paradoxical themes of beauty and wonderment coupled with the destruction that human existence has on the planet. Using small mass-produced ‘questionable’ and often overlooked objects—such as plastic bread tags found scattered on streets, public spaces or natural environments—are reinterpreted in natural materials. Using the image of different shaped bread tags—an object that is seemingly unremarkable, ubiquitous and an over engineered response to a problem that does not really exist—references the absurdity of design, its long-term impact and questions the very reason for them to exist at all.  Underlying these themes are questions of environmental and ethical issues and an exploration of the imprint and legacy we (as individuals) leave behind.