Jane Dodd is a contemporary jeweller based in Dunedin. She has a high profile and is well regarded for her jewellery which often addresses elements of landscape and a sense of place within New Zealand.
Dodd’s use of landscape appears in different guises throughout her work. In some cases it embodies personal landscapes, fragments of places which evoke memories, people, and times shared. These elements are carefully deconstructed and re-assembled, creating the need for the viewer to ‘read’ the piece in the same sense that one reads a map. In other works, these elements are singled out and framed where they create a memento or snapshot triggering recollections of places and events.
Jane Dodd came to jewellery through a Diploma in 3D design from UNITEC in Auckland, following earlier courses of study at the universities of Otago and Auckland. Since the early ‘90s Dodd has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in New Zealand and Australia, and she is recognised by collectors, galleries and institutions as a significant artist in this field.
Her works, fabricated from a mixture of different gold alloys (to achieve a range of colour), sterling silver, bone, wood, and shell, display the high level of technical craftsmanship for which Dodd is admired.
In recent years Jane Dodd’s jewellery practice has pivoted around the portrayal of animals. With a subtext of human impact and interaction she has explored issues of extinction and infestation, cruelty and conflict. Strongly influenced by historic European craft traditions but mindful of the plunder of the natural world that enabled and sanctioned such exuberant work, Dodd, with her compulsion for crafting and her love of materials, channels these contradictory emotions into works of tension, humour and intrigue.
Taxonomically speaking “Kingdom” refers to a broad division of all earth’s lifeforms. Plants and Fungi are 2 such kingdoms, as is Animalia, or “The Animal Kingdom” as we often call it. Within Animalia are dozens of sub-divisions or phyla, branches of the tree of life, each containing a myriad of species. The most populous nine phyla are represented in works in this family tree of jewels.
In The Family Jane Dodd positions the human species within the Animal Kingdom. She began this project with an exhibition at Te Uru in June 2019, portraying our closest relatives, the taxonomic order of Primates...
Character and narrative are given to humans, fellow simians, other mammals, fish, molluscs, worms, insects, sponges, and other animals alike. It is certainly not pure science, license is taken, comedy is king and story-telling trumps fact. But the device gives a framework to assert that humans are just another twig of a gloriously rich and diverse tree.