Aphra Cheesman


Aphra Cheesman is a New Zealander based in Naarm/Melbourne. Aphra’s practice includes contemporary jewellery, objects, drawing, video and sculpture. Her research examines our complex relationships with commonplace materials and objects, often considered in relation to the cycles of capitalism and other economic, social, political and environmental systems. Her work is often situated within the overlooked and in-between moments of everyday life and she has a daily practice of observing and collecting from which her research and creative works often evolve.

Aphra graduated from RMIT with a BA Fine Art (Honours) in 2020. She has exhibited in Australia and internationally. She was selected for the Fresh! graduate exhibition at Craft Victoria (2019), the Gallery Marzee International Graduate Show (NL, 2019) and Talente (DE, 2022). Aphra is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including; the Joel Elenberg prize (RMIT, 2020), the Emily Hope award (RMIT, 2020) and the Talente Prize (2022). Aphra was selected for Melbourne Now 2023 at the NGV, with her work acquired.

I look to the everyday stuff that accumulates in our drawers, pockets, attics, cupboards and in piles on the street. I collect traces of the encounters that have occurred between people and things, gleaning objects and materials that are worn or decayed; signs of their past and their interactions with people.

This ‘stuff’ continually alters through an ongoing exchange between humans and objects. I consider how the contact zones between people and things are examples of a networked materiality – an intersection of social, political, environmental and economic forces – pointing to an interconnectedness and complexity of everyday life.

Jewellery too, provides a networked materiality in its ability to form connections between people, environments and things. The work will continue to shift, taking on traces of new interactions as it is worn and exchanged in everyday life. AC

Stuff (ongoing series), 2020-23, various materials

More work by Aphra Cheesman


Jill: a true story of a clever jeweller

26 July - 26 August, 2023