Date4 May 2023
We ask Turumeke Harrington three questions about the new jewellery storage system she's made for Cook & Company.
What kind of life (real or imagined) does jewellery have within your storage system?
I am imagining that the work acts as a private place to have our own secrets and enjoy them surrounded by treasures, like magpies or a particular dragon. When we are away the pieces all whisper secrets to each other.
What informed your response to the brief?
My house is small, and it feels like sometimes there is nowhere to go to have secrets. Or, even just a place with adequate lighting to enjoy looking through all my treasures. I have been thinking about Kāi Tahu rock art, and the fences that shelter and protect (and block off) many of them. Rock art motifs are also referenced in the form, and paper doll chains, and baroque furniture, and peg boards. The work itself suggests it would be very utilitarian, I hope it is not particularly so.
What is your relationship with jewellery?
I like wearing it. I like making it. It is sparkly.
Mainly I like giving it away and I like it when people inherit pieces and wear them and keep them warm.
I feel a bit sad for the jewellery in collections, and I reckon people should have to take the pieces out for a walk sometimes.
More about Turumeke Harrington:
Turumeke Harrington (Kāi Tahu, Rangitāne, Ngāti Toa Rangatira) is a Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington-based artist working across sculpture and installation. Sitting somewhere between art and design she is interested in exploring how objects, material and colour can subvert, challenge and express mātauranga Māori. Harrington holds bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Design from Victoria University and Fine Arts from Canterbury University and a Master of Fine Arts (Distinction) from Massey University. She has recently exhibited at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, The Dowse Art Museum, Tauranga Art Gallery, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, Pātaka Art + Museum, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Toi Pōneke, RM Gallery and Objectspace.