Curtis began making jewellery in 1986, after completing a trade certificate in the craft. Her practice demonstrates a keen sensitivity to the visual dialogues that unfold between objects, whether on public display or at home. Small ‘conversations’ of contrast or similarity arise between these works, with their wide range of textures, shapes and weights. Her display arrangements see pieces divided into lines and clusters; using space to highlight qualities of distinction, and sameness, within the body of the collection. The forms sit or hang with a sense of liveliness and mobility; a feeling that stems perhaps from Curtis’ continual arranging and rearranging of these forms in her work space.
Curtis has worked in jewellery education for over 28 years, including as a senior lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology and continues to work at Hungry Creek today. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally, with recent group exhibitions including: solo exhibition Metadecorative, at Objectspace, Tāmaki in 2010, Wunderrūma, 2014 – 15, which toured Galarie Handwerk (Munich, Germany), The Dowse Art Museum, and the Auckland Art Gallery; Ornamento, Contemporary New Zealand Jewellery, 2016, at the Whakatane Museum and Arts, and Wundermeke, 2015, at Fingers gallery, Auckland.
Curtis’ work is held in the collections of The Dowse Art Museum, and the Auckland Museum.
“Trees have long been trying to reach us but they speak in frequencies too low for us to hear”. Richard Powers, The Overstory
The etymological root of the word bead in English is from the Old English noun bede, meaning prayer. “To run a string of beads through your hands is to touch an ancient practice”. Beads have been used as objects for calming and meditation across many cultures and religions. They are a powerful tool to slow the breath and silence the mind.
There is much to be anxious about, the divide between our economic systems and our ecosystems grows bigger all the time. We continually produce and consume without taking much stock of the damage caused by privileging economic outcomes.
The beads in quietly offer the wearer a chance to slow down, to breathe quietly and connect with the rhythms of nature. As a maker I am interested in the life of all the materials I use, where they come from and where they end up. The beads in this exhibition are made from wood that is sourced sustainably from within New Zealand and all materials that make these necklaces can be recycled
“In our gaian world everything is connected to and influences everything else.”
Powers. R, The Overstory, Penguin Random House, 2018
Strand C., Worry beads, ricycle The Buddhist Review, 2006
Flannery. T, The Weather Makers, Text Publishing, 2005