Claire McArdle ‘PLY II”

20 March - 20 April, 2024

Claire McArdle

Exhibition performances take place Sat 23rd March, 2pm & Sat 20 April, 2pm

Ply: to work steadily with a tool
to practice regularly
to repeatedly supply

Plier: a hand tool used to hold objects firmly
a person or thing that plies

From the Latin plicāre: bend/fold.

PLY examines the common jewellery technique of bending a piece of metal with pliers. The exaggerated scale lends significance to this simple act that is performed extensively by jewellers and metalsmiths throughout their making lives. This process is most often unobservable as it occurs in the seclusion of the studio. PLY allows inspection and encourages celebration of this elemental making action.

This will be the second iteration of PLY, with the first performance taking place in 2019. The pliers, neckpieces and boilersuit have all been remade using metals from the scrapyard and textiles from the second hand shop, including hand twined cords on each neckpiece. Over the course of the performance, each flat neckpiece will be bent by the pliers. Each bent neckpiece holds the recollection of the making action, the result of the interaction between maker, tool and material. PLY examines making through performance in a jewellery context.

Claire McArdle is a jewellery and object maker with an interest in tools, performance and the making process. Claire was recently included in Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria. She won the Itami Award at the 2019 ITAMI International Jewellery Exhibition at The Museum of Arts and Crafts in Itami, Japan, first prize at both Contemporary Wearables '13 in 2013 and the National Contemporary Jewellery Award in 2016 and received the Excellence Award at the Victorian Craft Awards in 2017.
In 2023 her work was collected by the National Gallery of Victoria and in 2018 by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. She has held solo exhibitions in Australia, Estonia, Germany and Thailand. Her work has been exhibited in Thailand, Hong Kong, USA, UK, Germany, France, Estonia, Austria and The Netherlands. She has undertaken residencies in Australia, Mexico, Iceland and Estonia. She was the co-founder of Radiant Pavilion: Melbourne Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial. And she teaches in the Gold & Silversmithing department at RMIT University, Melbourne and recently completed her PhD at the same institution.

PLY II (pliers), 2024, steel from scrapyard, paint

Work from Claire McArdle ‘PLY II”

Pliers by Claire McArdle ‘PLY II” Pliers, 2024, steel from scrapyard, paint
Work suit by Claire McArdle ‘PLY II” Work suit, 2024, cotton fabric from the second-hand shop, aluminium, paint
Pendants and vice by Claire McArdle ‘PLY II” Pendants and vice, 2024, scrapyard aluminium, cotton from the second-hand shop (same as the work suit) / vice was Claire's grandfather's
Installation by Claire McArdle ‘PLY II” Installation, 2024,
 by Claire McArdle ‘PLY II” , ,