Robert Baines: Close Up
Close Up is a solo exhibition features over 60 intricate gold and silver works of the internationally recognised Australian artist Robert Baines, who describes himself as a ‘goldsmith/artificer’.
Baines’s work demonstrates his ability to produce pieces of startling beauty and originality by combining ancient craft skills and expert technical knowledge with modern ideas of artistry. He confidently plays with traditional expectations of what jewellery should be by combining unusual elements, for example, perching a miniature red plastic sports car atop a curved crest of delicately worked golden circles as part of an ornamental bracelet. He does not feel bound by the natural hues of silver and gold, adding colour to enhance feeling, often coating the pieces in red, black or even white. As the artist states, ‘I am constructing artefacts as a vehicle to convey meaning, or through the process of making, to express values …’
Close Up provides an opportunity to examine and to fathom the ambiguities of Baines’ jewellery. To imagine these small models as large-scale sculptures. To appreciate the combination of the banal with the classical; of that which is precious with that which is playful or absurd. To understand the quality of a magical and masterful craft.