YOU ARE DOING IT AGAIN by Zoe Brand at Craft ACT

Zoe Brand, MORE MORE MORE, 2020. Photograph: Marshall-Brand Studio. Courtesy the artist and Craft ACT, Canberra

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre supports the creativity and presentation of local Australian artists, makers and designers at all stages of their careers, as well as showcasing national and international craftspeople across a vibrant and comprehensive exhibition program. The not-for-profit arts organisation located in the heart of Canberra’s CBD is back in real time welcoming visitors into exhibition spaces after Covid-19 closures.

From July 2 until 22 August audiences are invited to explore a display of wearable artworks created by NSW-based contemporary art jeweller Zoe Brand in her solo exhibition ‘YOU ARE DOING IT AGAIN’.

Throughout her creative practice Brand works with jewellery archetypes, ready-mades and text to explore the performative nature of jewellery as a way to communicate her ideas and draws inspiration from the ambiguous and ever-changing nature of language. Brand inscribes mundane musings from the vernacular of everyday language onto the surface of her designs, such as YES YOU CAN, TRY HARDER, BRUTAL RECOGNITION OF FAILURE, TAKE IT EASY, HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH, FULL STOP. In this exhibition these seemingly simple slogans invite audience inquiry about the possibilities of meaning and how they can relate to individuals both personally and collectively in these unprecedented times.

Zoe Brand, HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH, 2020. Photograph: Marshall-Brand Studio. Courtesy the artist and Craft ACT, Canberra

Brand says, “It wasn’t always this way. I’m not sure I’ve had a chance to grieve or understand the summer bush fires that were on our doorstep for months on end. At that time, it was about leaving to find safety elsewhere. And now it seems we are only safe if we stay home. The works in this exhibition aren’t so much about “these times” but rather they have come about because of them. Of course, they reflect them and fit into the discourse around them, but they are not stuck in them.”

By bringing the provocative creations from the wall to the body Brand opens the objectified articulations up to more personal interpretation, and an intuitive process, as a way to connect the pieces of jewellery with the viewer, the wearer. How will they resonate with you?

Zoe Brand, TAKE IT EASY, 2020. Photograph: Marshall-Brand Studio. Courtesy the artist and Craft ACT, Canberra

Melinda Young, contemporary jeweller and craftsperson, Associate Lecturer at UNSW Art & Design, and writer of the exhibition essay says Brand’s work in ‘YOU ARE DOING IT AGAIN’ “is at once deeply personal and reflective of broader collective sentiment and experiences. The significance of language is always in flux, however in 2020 it seems the meaning and resonance of language, or words and phrases is changing daily. Words that signified one thing when Brand started making for this exhibition have rapidly shifted and continue to do so. I encourage you to not only read the works in this exhibition collectively, as a text; but also to pause and reflect on each as a moment in our/your time”

If you are planning to visit Craft ACT in person to view ‘YOU ARE DOING IT AGAIN’, gallery opening times and location can be found here or if you would like to explore the series online you can view the show anytime via Craft’s exhibition pages here. To read Melinda Young’s essay click here.