without a jewel


Without A Jewel engages in the discussion of Contemporary Jewellery’s materiality. Contemporary Jewellery is a field of inquiry, not a medium, and although many contemporary jewellers make wearable jewels, some do not. Instead, they work on the edges of the field. They investigate qualities of jewellery: the presumption of wearability and value, its materiality and its context, through a variety of media including performance, installation, film and photography.

Without A Jewel will present four artists currently exploring the edges of jewellery: Renée Ugazio (Australia), Anneleen Swillen (Belgium), Paulina Rodete (Mexico) and Zoe Robertson (UK). Curated by Judith Torzillo and Victoria Cleland, Without A Jewel offers the chance to discuss boundary-crossing practice at a time of flux in the Contemporary Jewellery field.


Without A Jewel
Artist/s: Zoe Robertson, Renée Ugazio, Anneleen Swillen & Paulina Rodete
Curators: Victoria Cleland & Judith Torzillo
Four artists who use performance and installation to discuss value, context,adornment, wearability and expectation.
Instagram: @withoutajewel
Melbourne City Library Gallery
253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
2 August – 2 September, Mon–Thu 8am–8pm,
Fri 8am–6pm, Sat 10am–5pm, Sun 12–5pm
Drinks & discussion:
Thu 31 August, 2–4pm
Download the program here

About the Artists

Award winning jewellery artist Zoe Robertson’s studio practice explores themes relating to jewellery within performance. She creates theatrically sized jewellery, experiments on the edges of the discipline and enjoys working collaboratively. She is co-founder of The Dual Works an artist studio based in Birmingham, UK and her work is exhibited within an international arena The interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of her works moves beyond jewellery and into the fields of performance, sound, and dance. As seen in her latest solo exhibition flockOmania this cross-disciplinary approach enables her to create experiential and immersive environments, which invite audience interaction and participation.

Dr Renée Ugazio repositions jewellery practice – redefining it as a set of actions and traces freed from their expected sites associated with object production. In doing this jewellery practice is mobilised and reimagined amid the world to explore temporality, experience and material engagement. Her research exposes how the attentive sensibility of a jeweller can surface in the production of artworks. She explores how this has the potential to draw attention to materiality, and our awareness of being in time and place. Dr Ugazio lectures at RMIT University where she received her PhD in 2017. She exhibits widely both nationally and internationally.

Anneleen Swillen (Be, °1992) lives and works in Ghent and Hasselt. She holds a master’s degree in Object and Jewellery design and a postgraduate in Curatorial Studies. Swillen’s research takes presentation as a starting point for content rather than accepting the premise that content must precede presentation. She is currently a PhD student at Hasselt University and PXL-MAD, researching the expressive potential of presentation within contemporary art jewellery practice.

Paulina Rodete is a designer of contemporary jewellery and an artist who lives and works in Mexico and is currently undertaking research for her Masters of Visual Art in Germany. Rodete is interested in the search for new meanings in objects through diverse everyday practices in various disciplines including happenings, performances, video, dance and installation. Her practice concentrates on the transformation of petrified matter & objects and ‘the extension of space in the relationship between body and jewellery’. Her sculptures and contemporary jewellery pieces have been exhibited in México, United States and Germany.

Victoria Cleland is an emerging contemporary jeweller and curator from Sydney, Australia. She completed Honours (First Class) in Jewellery and Object Design at Sydney College of the Arts and participated in the 2015 JMGA conference, EdgesBordersGaps. Victoria’s jewellery practice investigates notions of value and image. She completed an internship with gallery Studio 20/17 which involved critical writing, exhibition preparation and installation. Following her internship she exhibited LUXIE, her first solo project. Victoria co-curated Young Collectors with fellow Honours candidate, Judith Torzillo, presenting collections of contemporary jewellery owned by Australians in their twenties and exploring connections between them.

Judith Torzillo is an emerging curator and artist raised in Sydney and currently based in The Netherlands. She is interested in opening conversations, engaging in the activation of unlikely spaces and supporting new connections in the field of contemporary jewellery. Her artistic practice focuses on the epic and allegorical potential of matter in the everyday. Torzillo graduated with Honours (Class I) in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney in 2015. Her curatorial work includes Valuable Remains (Archive_ Space, Sydney) and Young Collectors (SCA Foyer Gallery, Sydney).​


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