10 Artists Rework Discarded Archaeological Fragments In New Exhibition, ‘Unearthed’

When the biggest archaeological dig in Victorian historical past passed off within the coronary heart of the CBD as a part of the Metro Tunnel Mission in 2018, greater than 1,000,000 artefacts had been discovered. Stays akin to wheel ruts, cesspits, bluestone fittings and timber constructions had been among the many findings, most relationship again greater than 180 years to the early days of European settlement in Melbourne.

Whereas important objects are actually saved completely by Heritage Victoria, many hundreds of found fragments from the dig together with damaged glass, shards of porcelain, wire and shells had been deemed not important sufficient to be retained for heritage functions. 

Unwilling to see these ‘discarded’ items of historical past go to waste, Craft Victoria has collaborated with the Metro Tunnel Inventive Program to interact 10 artists to reimagine these fragments for his or her newest exhibition, ‘Unearthed.’

From ceramic amphorae, intimate items of jewelry, to up to date objects and lighting, the ten artists have created new, repurposed works that reinterpret this a part of historical past of Melbourne metropolis. 

Potter Jack Balfour says, ‘There’s a variety of unknowns while you’re grinding down rust-encrusted nails, shells or slate… This material-led design has introduced new freedom to the way in which I work. I’m normally managed and regarded in each factor of my apply and having the chance to enter a bag filled with fragments which have a robust connection to Melbourne – that’s introduced delight to what I’ve been making.’ 

Jack has created 22 vessels for the exhibition, utilizing unearthed fragments together with rust, copper wire and basalt to create mesmerising chemical reactions and textures on his pottery. 

Ceramicist Tantri Mustika harnessed a kaleidoscope of glass fragments to create textured vessels in her signature terrazzo type. ‘Working with these discovered supplies has been a particular and uncommon expertise. Discovering magnificence in materials that has been way back misplaced and forgotten, and reimagining them as one thing lovely while nonetheless sustaining their kind by which they had been discovered.’ 

Additionally working with glass fragments are artist Iluka Sax-Williams and glass artist Dan Bowran, who’ve reworked these shards into ‘Coolamons’ – a conventional merchandise utilized by Indigenous folks to carry water, meals and sources.

So too has artist Juan Castro, who has created a placing mild set up constructed from glass fragments and resin;  ‘On first listening to about this challenge, I started to consider the thought of constructing mild from one thing that has been darkish for therefore lengthy,’ he explains. 

Different objects within the exhibition embody; vessels constructed from glass and bookbinding thread by Jenna Lee; two units of gardening instruments foraged from a pickaxe by Claire McArdle; intricate jewelry items by Ruby Aitchison; and ‘broached pins’ by Dale Hardiman and ACV Studio.

‘Unearthed’ is open from 1 October – 31 October at Craft Victoria. 

See the items on the market right here! 

Craft Victoria
Watson Place, Melbourne (off Flinders Lane)
Tuesday to Friday, 11am – 5pmSaturday, 11am – 4pm