Benedikt Fischer and Samira Goetz announced as winners


Mari Funaki Award Announce 2018 Winners

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Benedikt Fischer, has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery in the Established category for his series of five Pearly Whites brooches, made from shell, mother of pearl, remanium and sculpey.

Benedikt receives A$8000 (£4,379.78) and his work will enter the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (subject to approval of the Board of Trustees).

The judges said of this work:

"What stands out in these pieces is the freshness and humour, as well as the incredible material resolution and skill. It’s difficult to work with shell and create something that isn’t a trope. On a number of levels Benedikt’s comes together incredibly well. They’re an instant classic.”

Benedikt Fischer's artist statement about the submitted work

Shelly found some baby teeth and tried them on for size. She is sassy and uncivilized, a loudmouth with no spine. Baring her pearly whites, she whispers, sighs, shouts and grins. Evolution is contagious. Other shells are starting to speak back. Soft on the inside, hard on the outside— to open up they must sharpen their teeth. Each one has its own personality and style. Omnivores speak for themselves, and may bite if provoked. Feed them at your own risk.

German jeweller Samira Goetz is announced as winner of the A$2000 (£1,094.94) prize in the Emerging category for her necklace, DWELL.

The judges commented that this piece:

“Works so well and is extremely wearable despite the fact that it’s big. It’s bold and it’s well resolved.”

Samira Goetz's artist statement about the submitted work:

In a room, the human body can be seen as the detail; proportions vary: size of the room, height of the ceiling; the feeling varies: number of entry points, amount of light to name just a few parameters. On the body jewellery is the detail; proportions and placement vary, adding information, revealing preferences and points of view.

In my work I use most basic geometric forms, created out of the

emblematic building material concrete; assembled to miniature streets of windowless houses: the series DWELL suggests a reversion of detail and structure, with the body as focal point.

The judges of this years award included Jane Devery, Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria; Manon van Kouswijk, Contemporary jeweller and Jewellery Studio Co-ordinator and Lecturer at Monash University and Chloë Powell, Curator at Craft Victoria and Co-director of Radiant Pavilion.

The Mari Funaki Award exhibition ran until 15th September.

Image Credits:

Benedikt Fischer, Pearly Whites 5, 2018, shell, mother of pearl, remanium, sculpey, image courtesy of the artist.

Samira Goetz, DWELL, necklace, 2018, epoxy concrete, cotton thread. Image courtesy of the artist.


Rebecca van Rooijen


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