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Contemporary Jewellery

Mentor Mentee Program 2021 - 2022 Exhibition

Mixed Media Wire 2021-2022


Barbara Nanshe

Artist Statement

My art tunes me. I see the world as someone who looks beyond the facade to the energy inherit within.

I am a visual and intuitive learner. I have spacial awareness and often use it while planning my pieces before I know what materials I am using.  I see them as space and energy, the detail comes later.

The materials I collect are ethically sourced,  the metals, mostly recycled.  Because I have an eye for collecting, many parts are stored and waiting for the combination of my handmade elements to enable ideas to take shape quickly. My favourite materials have been in another life before I repurposed them in mine.

I always have the natural world in the the forefront of my mind and the connections to that world inform my work. I believe we embody and are connected to all energy. Everything we do effects us and other energies either positively or negatively.

I am constantly concerned with how humans are shaping the world to exclude all other species. Our will to change and minimise what nature has made in her wisdom, continuously alarms me.

I hope my work can remind the viewer or the wearer of the connections existing between humans and animals; humans and the environment, so as to honour and protect the network of energies.

This exhibition gives me the opportunity to make a new body of wall sculpture representing environmental energy and the positive connections we can make in the “Garden”; the “Forest” and the “Wetland”.

Each piece is made from recycled Sterling silver and copper plate and wire: enamel coated wire and brass wire. Combined, the pieces have taken more than 9000 hours to complete.

Mixed Media Wire 2021-2022


Mentor Barbara Nanshe
Mentee Vanessa Higgins

It is the role of artists to pave the way for others, emerging artists.  Being a mentor takes this to another level.

The inquiry into another artist’s skills and journey and supporting their needs to enable further growth, somehow shines a light onto the journey of both. Mentor and Mentee.

In the process of mentoring  Mixed Media Jeweller, Vanessa Higgins, I have been able to recognise my own steady journey.  While observing Vanessa’s art language my own appears more clearly to me.

All artists have faced blocks of some kind on the journey to realising their art language. The two COVID years have made connection to our art community, access to other artists, and places for learning and practising new skills, frustrating and isolating.

The journey is important.  Time, vision, determination and practise enables the development of skill and puts an artist more firmly on their path. If one or two are missing, the journey can so easily be abandoned.

I was able to teach, support; enable access to equipment and materials; technique; community to inspire Vanessa, to open a new world of expression.

It has been so rewarding for me to watch Vanessa’s excitement and see the growth that comes with supporting another's journey into self expression. It is an honour to exhibit side by side with her, and others making a similar journey.

Mixed Media Wire 2021-2022

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