REVIEW - The Australian National Brooch Show 2016

2016 hails the 9th year of the CAS Inc. Brooch Show

2 June to 30 July at the Toorak/South Yarra Library

3 August to 29 September at Fitzroy Library

The Australian National Brooch Show 2016 Try & Buy, Saturday 4 June

Lots of eager visitors were lined up outside the doors of the Toorak - South Yarra Library, even before it opened. Once inside the library's expansive foyer, they greatly enjoyed the 225 brooches on display, in five glass display cases. Many more visitors followed during the two hours of our first Try & Buy event for this year's Australian National Brooch Show.

Some of the 225 brooches on display

Eager brooch purchasers

Some people like owls, some like pussycats, others like birds and animals, flowers and trees, miniature portraits and landscapes, gems and pearls, wood and metal, soft textiles and bright colours. All of these things and more are in this exhibition of exquisite contemporary hand crafted brooches. People expressed their delight as they found numerous treasures to take home. Several people said they were glad they came early, as some of the favourite treasures were selling fast. Each sold treasure will be replaced with a pictures of it, so that future visitors can still see the full exhibition on display.

Purchasers lining up

Some of our cheerful voluntary helpers

Here are just a few of the favourite treasures at the Try & Buy: Mary Elizabeth Barron's four Thai Flower works, made from a sales catalogue, old books, resin, shellac and a chip packet; Sally Brown's Puss Cat, Puppy, Owl and Lizard made from fused glass; Jemma Cakebread's finely embroidered Sunflowers (After Van Gogh), Girl with a Pearl Earring (After Vermeer), and Van Gogh. Faith Colwell made her Pencil Heart Brooch and Abstract Brooch Rainbow with little cross-cut coloured pencil segments, and in Pencil and Wood Heart and Abstract Pencil Brooch, she inset fragrant, smoothly finished Murray pine with tiny segments of coloured pencils. Amanda Croatto's charming Cool Cat, Harold (hare), Absolutely Darling and Cloud Watcher were made with copper, silver, enamel and pop rivets. Aleta Groves made her intricate Watching You, BooBock, Seahorse and Sheep with delicate watch parts. In Maryla Juchnowski's Collage One and Two, Purple Lilly and Black Bud, she used beads, buttons, lace, knitted plastic thread, silver earrings and French knots. Damon Kowarsky's Polyanthemos, Gingko, Bird and Orchid are delicate water-colour and etching on paper on board. In Reef 2, Ann Krause used embossed copper and brass to make delicate shell forms. Amanda Purkiss used recycled copper wire and Swarovski crystals to make Arwen (a horse, not an elf), Funky Seahorse, Proud as a Peacock, and Leave Nothing But Footprints. Dagny Strand's Gull and the Sea, Child Clown, Wonderland and Forest Rabbit were beautifully formed in EPNS silver and mixed metals.

Visitors happily trying and buying

Other media used by our very inventive participating artists included acrylics, aluminium, bamboo, banana fibre paper, blackwood, cedar, ceramics, clay, cocobolo wood, coral, crystal, ebony, eyelets, felt, floor covering, found objects, garnets, gel pen, gidgee wood, glass, hematite, hibiscus timber, inks, leather, meccano, mixed media, Murano glass, nailpolish, nickel, paperclay, perspex, plastics, polymer clay, porcelain, powdered glass, reclaimed piano ivory, recycled metals, shell, silk, silver clay, steel, stone, threads, unakite, up-cycled metals, vintage components, wenge wood, wire, and varnish.

The concept behind the Try & Buy event is to give visitors the opportunity not just to view their chosen treasures inside glass cases, but to also hold them, to feel them, to try them on, and view them in the mirror provided. Who knows what the favourites will be at the next Try & Buy, at Fitzroy Library on Sunday 7 August.

- Review by Cressida Fox


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