Can’t get your hands on centuries-old rings seen on Antiques Roadshow? No problem, Alice Potter has you covered. Specialising in antique-resembling jewellery, Alice also creates stunning works of wearable, contemporary art. In our latest spotlight, Alice tells us about her unique style and her hopes for the future.
Q: Hello Alice! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
A: Hello! I am a South Australian artist/jeweller practicing out of my home studio, while also working part time as the Production Manager in the Jewellery and Metal studio at JamFactory. I have a Bachelor of Graphic Design, as well as a Bachelor of Visual Art (Jewellery) and First Class Honours in Visual Arts. I make jewellery (fancy ‘special occasion’ rings, fun accessories, wearable art pieces, etc.) as well as exhibition art (jewellery for walls), and like experimenting with every medium under the sun. I am a twin, I have a three year old daughter, and I like singing, going for long walks, and summer weather over winter chills.
Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?
A: I am inspired by colour and shape, pattern and form. Conceptually I am inspired by the symbolism behind wearable art and why people wear certain items. Because I like working with a lot of different materials I usually can take muse from a variety of sources and artists; the problem is finding the time to do everything I would like to! I also get inspired from really unplanned sources, hence the mass of images collected on my blog, but also images of historic jewellery made between, essentially, the start of historical records of making up until about the 20th Century.
There are a lot of artists who inspire me and my work, including (but not limited to): Natalia Milosz-Piekarska, Bonus Card Project, Monica Canilao, Tarryn Gill, Roy Wiggan, Sera Waters, Lisa Walker, Karl Fritsch, Magnhild Kennedy, Sally Gabori, Suzi Zutic, Rachel Burke, Peta Kruger, Carly Snoswell, Katherine Bowman… and so on.
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: it depends on what I’m making, but for my jewellery I am a tad fixated on gold and precious stones (diamonds, sapphires, and rubies) at the moment. I never used to aesthetically like gold, but then I started working with it and it’s so lush and beautiful when unpolished and raw. When I am making mixed media exhibition work, I am drawn to glitter, paint, textiles, fringe and tassels, as well as wire, paint, faux gems, faux fruit, faux plants… everything really.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Handmade, individual, imperfect, colourful, OTT, not too serious, looks-like-it-was-made-centuries-ago-and-recently-dug-up, sparkly…
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: I often will see a shape, colour, or form that sits in my head for a little while (until I can write it down or get in the studio) and then it’s literally from head to hands; I am not and never have been a good illustrator, so I tend to start by getting hands-on with the material and/or the making process. From there I will uncover any challenges or hurdles within that design, where I will improve it pieces by piece (often making many of the same thing to perfect the design), or just park it until I have had time to stew over the technicalities before trying again.
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: I think the dream is to be self-sustained with a viable practice, which would be next-level awesome, but I don’t think I could ever give up any part-time work, whether in the arts or not, to solely focus on my practice. Other income work gives you time-out that you can’t get in a studio. I hope in five years to have exhibited more, travelled with residencies, workshops, teaching, or exhibiting opportunities, as well as continuing to make engagement and wedding rings for those who want something a bit different and individual.
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: Just one?! I’d probably have to say Monica Canialo, an artist from California who has a multi-media, cross-disciplinary practice. I have followed her work for years, and there is always something different to discover within each of her installations, textiles, costumes, prints or murals. The ideology behind her works and why she makes resonates with me, looking at the connections between art, history, communication, and community.
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
A: Tough question! I don’t know that I have one particular favourite. Each individual gallery has merits in its own right. Whether it’s large wall spaces as an exhibitor, intimate venues that have a quiet sense of connection between artist and viewer, professional and awesome people running the space, or even the best collection of contemporary indigenous weaving in the Southern Hemisphere… I think that would be like choosing your favourite cheese; too many enjoyable variations to settle on just one!
Q: Where can we find more of your work (social media, personal website, current exhibitions, etc.)?
Q: If you could get rid of one technological item, what would it be?
A: It’s an obvious choice, but I’d have to say the Smart Phone. Although I love the connectivity and community that a lot of the apps give us (hello Instagram!), as well as the [often dangerous] convenience of online banking etc, I still think we need to stop living in a projected-self zone and be a bit more present and interact with those in front of us.
– Masya Zabidi