Not many artists can lay claim to being rushed for autographs but that is exactly what happened to jeweller Jess Dare at a recent presentation at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou.
Dare was in China for a five-week residency facilitated by Guildhouse through a partnership with the Yiwei Art Foundation. Combining glass and precious metal in the production of contemporary jewellery, Dare uses the traditional method of flameworking, usually associated with glass beads, to create intricate organic forms. It was a demonstration of this technique that captured the imagination of Dare’s audience and resulted in the subsequent chaos. Drawing inspiration from the natural environment, Dare’s work explores the themes of memory and loss. Employing the rich, vibrant colours of nature, she crafts delicate, detailed exhibition pieces as well as a wearable line of brooches, necklaces and earrings. In the years since graduating with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from TAFE’s Adelaide Centre for the Arts, Dare has exhibited across Australia and internationally. Her work is represented in major national collections, including The National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Glass Collection. In 2014 she spent time in Bangkok on an Asialink Arts Residency. While Dare actively pursues travel opportunities to expand her practice, she credits the support she has received through the Adelaide arts community, and Gray Street Workshop in particular, as key to her success establishing a sustainable, creatively fulfilling arts practice. An artist–run studio and access facility for contemporary jewellers and object makers, Gray Street Workshop is an Adelaide institution that has supported over 100 creatives in its 30-year history. Dare began working at Gray Street as an access tenant in 2007 and became a partner in 2010. While those who work at Gray Street all have their own individual practices, there is constant collaboration and exchange. Hearing Dare speak of the bene ts of working alongside her peers and mentors is a reminder of the power of a community with a shared sense of purpose. Her work is another great reason to explore Adelaide’s arts sector. Jess Dare will be featured on the new Well Made website launching soon. Well Made is an initiative of Guildhouse. The Adelaide Review is a proud media partner of Well Made. Photography by Jonothan Van Der Knaap