Necklace, 'Steel heart chain', steel, Sue Lorraine, Adelaide, South Australia, 1996
Designed and made by Sue Lorraine (born Melbourne 1955). Lorraine studied Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT (1975-76), completed a Diploma od Art and Design at PIT (1979-80), and graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1989 with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies. She was part of the Workshop 3000 (1982-84), and was one of the founders of the Gray Street Workshop in Adelaide in 1984. The Gray Street Workshop provided both personal and access workshops, and was an arena for the exploration of personal and social issues. She is represented in collections such as the WA Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of SA, and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston.
Lorraine says that the current trend in her work is to combine the technical with the wearable. This theme has developed from a previous exhibition in 1994 called 'em/body'. The work in 'em/body' sort to 'explore the metaphorical use of the body, using the whole body as a site for jewellery and its parts as jewellery, to describe the space between the physical and the emotional'. From this Lorraine has moved toward a marriage of exhibition and production both in style and materials. The theoretical basis is not so prominent, rather the focus is on a piece that is wearable.
Lorraine likes the effect of the flat graphic piece, like a shadow or a cross-section. The steel oxidises easily, and is sandblasted several times to clean it back after soldering. It is finished with a silicon wax and baby oil ( industrial oil is too thick, olive oil too smelly, baby oil (and clove oil) are just right.)
This piece was exhibited in the 'Tags' exhibition (4-29 September 1996, curated by Helen Aitken-Kuhnen). It was shown within a group of 11 of Lorraine's pieces alongside work by such designers as Mari Funaki, Marian Hosking and Catherine Truman.'Tags' was a significant exhibition in that it sought to showcase the unique and recognisable styles and workmanship of some of the most respected jewellers in Australia. In the context of the exhibition, 'tags' is a personal identification or signature, much the same as a dog tag is to a soldier.
See 'Tags' catalogue and 'em/body' catalogue in file.