10 Artists Reimagine Archaeological Fragments In A New Exhibition

When the biggest archaeological dig in Victorian heritage took location in the coronary heart of the CBD as component of the Metro Tunnel Challenge in 2018, a lot more than a million artefacts ended up located. Continues to be these as wheel ruts, cesspits, bluestone fittings and timber constructions have been between the findings, most dating back a lot more than 180 yrs to the early days of European settlement in Melbourne.

Whilst major items are now stored completely by Heritage Victoria, lots of hundreds of learned fragments from the dig which includes broken glass, shards of porcelain, wire and shells have been considered not considerable enough to be retained for heritage uses. 

Unwilling to see these ‘discarded’ items of heritage go to squander, Craft Victoria has collaborated with the Metro Tunnel Creative Application to have interaction 10 artists to reimagine these fragments for their latest exhibition, ‘Unearthed.’

From ceramic amphorae, personal parts of jewellery, to up to date objects and lights, the 10 artists have designed new, repurposed functions that reinterpret this part of background of Melbourne town. 

Potter Jack Balfour suggests, ‘There’s a whole lot of unknowns when you’re grinding down rust-encrusted nails, shells or slate… This content-led design and style has brought new liberty to the way I function. I’m normally managed and thought of in every aspect of my apply and getting the opportunity to go into a bag whole of fragments that have a potent connection to Melbourne – which is brought delight to what I’ve been producing.’ 

Jack has designed 22 vessels for the exhibition, applying unearthed fragments like rust, copper wire and basalt to make mesmerising chemical reactions and textures on his pottery. 

Ceramicist Tantri Mustika harnessed a kaleidoscope of glass fragments to generate textured vessels in her signature terrazzo design and style. ‘Functioning with these discovered resources has been a special and unusual knowledge. Discovering elegance in material that has been very long in the past shed and overlooked, and reimagining them as a thing wonderful while even now keeping their form in which they have been uncovered.’ 

Also functioning with glass fragments are artist Iluka Sax-Williams and glass artist Dan Bowran, who have transformed these shards into ‘Coolamons’ – a traditional item applied by Indigenous people today to maintain drinking water, foods and resources.

So as well has artist Juan Castro, who has created a hanging light set up produced from glass fragments and resin  ‘On initially listening to about this challenge, I started to think about the strategy of building light from something that has been dark for so long,’ he describes. 

Other objects in the exhibition incorporate vessels designed from glass and bookbinding thread by Jenna Lee two sets of gardening instruments foraged from a pickaxe by Claire McArdle intricate jewellery items by Ruby Aitchison and ‘broached pins’ by Dale Hardiman and ACV Studio.

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

See the pieces for sale below! 

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

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