The Australian National Brooch Show 2023
the 15th year of the CAS Inc. Brooch Show
14 September - 26 November
Fitzroy Library, 128 Moor St, Fitzroy
Special Try and Buy Event: Saturday 16 September 11am-1pm
Report by Katherine Chouliaras Lewis
TO SEE A SLIDE-SHOW OF THE PHOTOS FROM THE OPENING, CLICK A THUMBNAIL IMAGE BELOW, THEN CLICK THE ARROW BUTTON (ON RIGHT OF IMAGE) OR USE THE KEYBOARD RIGHT-ARROW TO MANUALLY ADVANCE THE LARGER IMAGES
I had been meaning to visit the annual CAS Brooch Show for many years and Saturday 16th September 2023 was the day, the official opening of the CAS Brooch Show for 2023. I was excited! I found a free 2-hr car park in front of the Fitzroy Library, Fitzroy and considered this a good omen; it meant I would have a great experience at the CAS Brooch exhibition. Happy with myself, I walked into the Fitzroy library and heard a humming buzz of excitement which I decided to follow. As I looked at the display windows I felt like I was a kid again in a candy store. I was excited and captivated by what I saw. “WOW! What a beautiful display of intriguing, fascinating and creative pieces!”
I met up with the CAS President, Robert Lee, who informed me that this is the “16th year of the CAS Brooch Show which showcases 412 wearable ‘sculptures of art’ created by 99 very talented Artists from every State and Territory of Australia.” At the opening of the CAS Brooch Show 2023, the CAS President, Robert Lee, thanked everyone for coming, mentioned a special thank you to all the volunteers for their tireless hours of work in organising, cataloguing and setting up the wonderful and creative brooch exhibition and thanked all the entrants for their beautiful and very creative ‘wearable works of art’.
Councillor Amanda Stone opened the CAS Brooch Show 2023, with acknowledgement to the Warunji Burung people, the traditional owners and the true sovereigns of the land now known as Yarra and also acknowledge the significant contributions made by all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to life in Yarra and pay our respects to Elders from all Nations and to their Elders, past present and future. Councillor Amanda Stone shared that the City of Yarra is very pleased as a Council to support this exhibition, as part of their 2023 City of Yarra Exhibition Programme. Each year the exhibition programme provides an opportunity for artists to showcase their work, make creative use of their venues such as their libraries and other places and provides local people and the wider community an opportunity to enjoy arts and culture as an everyday experience. She went on to say that this is something that they are very focussed on at Yarra, that the Arts are to be an everyday experience making arts available to everyone where they are, the CAS Brooch Show in the Fitzroy library is a very good example of that.
Councillor Amanda Stone congratulated the Contemporary Art Society, the volunteers for their wonderful work in orchestrating the exhibition and everyone for attending. We all applauded both Robert and Councillor Amanda Stone’s speeches. Thank you Robert and Amanda for your wonderful speeches!
People were keen to purchase brooches, a buzz of excitement, laughter and chatter continued while a frenzy of purchases continued. After the opening speeches, I continued to view each of the unique and intriguing 412 brooches from 99 very talented and creative Australian artists. I found myself saying, “I want this one, and this one, and this one, and this one….. Oh dear! …….. They’re all talking to me. What do I do?” They were selling like hot cakes! I kept missing out on many gorgeous pieces which were being snapped up very quickly, until I finally succeeded in buying my very own ‘little treasure’, “my precious”. I was having an exciting time observing all of these creative ‘eye candies’ and thought to myself, “What a marvellous display of creativity and uniqueness, I could spend all day here, and all my money!”
The artists in the show made very creative and unique pieces using a wide range of media, materials, styles, colours and subjects. The media included: beads, ceramics, air dried and polymer clay, embroidery, fused and sea glass, gold leaf, inks, leather, metal assemblages, safety brooch pins, silver, soldered metal, stainless steel, wire, mixed media, natural fibres, crocheted wool, printed fabric, silk, netting, acrylics, enamels, plastics, mono and photo prints, resins, figurines, upcycled retro and vintage items, sequins, stone, tiles, weaving, wood and so much more. The themes were as varied as the materials. Faces: happy, colourful, sexy, cute. Fauna: bees, beetles, birds, cats, dogs, dragonflies, fish, giraffes, jellyfish, moths, reptiles and more. Flora: floral arrangements and themes, flowers, pressed flowers. Lips: luscious and tantalising. Shapes: intriguing and colourful. There were mini sculptures of faces, animals, flowers and more.
In summary, the 412 brooches were all contemporary, intriguing, unique, creative, inspiring, imaginative, colourful, affordable and stunning wearable works of art! Well done everyone! You are welcome to visit the CAS Brooch Exhibition at the Fitzroy Library and on the CAS Website Gallery: Brooch Show (contemporaryartsociety.org.au).
Fitzroy Library does not handle art sales. All sales enquiries can be made to the CAS Secretary, Cressida, on 0407 059 194 or (03) 9428 0568 and on the CAS Website. I would like to thank everyone for making this show a great success and also thank the artists for their creative, inspiring and unique wearable art.