Current Issue #488

Meet Your Maker:
Alice Potter

Sven Kovac
Alice Potter

Following the birth of her second child, jeweller and artist Alice Potter did something quite unusual to come to come to terms with what she calls, “The pangs of responsibility”.

Potter sent around a survey to other parents to ask them about their feelings and attitudes towards parenthood, as her own feelings were a sense of guilt and ambivalence and a dread that she might fail her children.

With over 100 people responding, Potter determined that there were two camps, saying, “I found that there are two types of people; Glass Half Full parents and Glass Half Empty parents”. There were parents who were optimistic and those who felt their lives had changed for the worse by having children.

This rich source of material and quotes from the parents and her own strong emotions became the inspiration for a recent exhibition ‘Parent Guilt Yo’, held at the UniSA Business School’s Yungondi Building, City West. Hung in the entrance foyer to the building, this brightly coloured and eclectic mix of jewellery, embroidered objects and a pile of glittery dust is a both a whimsical and sobering response to parenting.

A range of large and small necklaces are made from coloured wooden blocks, found materials, a hula-hoop and macaroni with titles such as ‘it’s not forever [I can’t go to the toilet alone]’ and ‘be a good parent 60% of the time as long as you’re not a bad parent 40% of the time.’

Despite some difficult messages in this exhibition, Potter’s colourful vision, vibrancy and sense of humour shine through. Potter says, “I love involving colour which means lots of paint, powder coating and beads.”

Courtesy JamFactory
Alice Potter, installation shot

Potter has Grapheme-Colour Synaesthesia and for her whole life has seen letters of the alphabet, and single numerals as colours. For Potter it is totally normal to see E as green and S as yellow. It has enabled her to see the world through a bright lens to create both wearable objects and art installations that ask her audience to see the everyday in a different light.

Potter remains very busy with small children, working as Studio Head at JamFactory’s Jewellery and Metal Studio and maintaining her practice. She is currently in a phase of development and says, “I am researching ideas and concepts aligning with materiality, totem, ritual and ceremony for a future solo project.”

Alice Potter: Parent Guilt Yo
Yungondi Building, UniSA City West Campus
August 20 – November 28 2019
Presented by University of South Australia in partnership with Guildhouse

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Guildhouse is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting South Australia visual artist, craftspeople and designers to develop and maintain sustainable careers.

The Adelaide Review is a media partner of Guildhouse.

Julianne Pierce

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