Numerous speakers join together to celebrate the life and career of Daphne Mayo while launching the festival this year. St Margaret’s & Urban Art Projects collaborate with x7 Brisbane Sculptors and x7 Brisbane Jewellers in a series of events – Launch Breakfast 22.08.2008 from 7:00am–8:30am, Exhibition Preview 24.10.2008 from 12:00noon–4:00pm and the Exhibition opening 24.10.2008 from 6:00pm–9:00pm. Further details from their web site or call Bettina Groves on 0419 025 980

Barbara does a short, nine slide intro talk to her work at the breakfast – here are her slides & text in sequence:

01 I just love jewellery! What a medium to work in…precious, miniature, symbolic… such an effective little sign language carried on the body; expressing style, wit, humour and of course the most touching sentiment

02 My work has brought me close to people seeking the right object to witness the depths of their emotions. I believe the best Jewellery captures this duality – intimacy and permanence. With the right jewel we create a little time capsule, one we throw hopefully into the future.

03 Bespoke or commissioned, product range or experimental… everything we make has a precursor, a lineage if you like. Every new invention builds on the last. For this reason I’m intrigued by jewellery from past eras, and I’ve collected a library of books to support this interest.

04 This image from the book ‘British Rings’ has long captivated me. Labelled as part of the Cheapside Hoard, these are elegant and modest jewels, but why cover the gold in white? The story of this group of jewels is even more intriguing.

05 Last year, with the support of an Australia Council skills development grant I made a trip to museums in London and St Petersburg to find out more about this very specific collection of historic jewellery.

06 Sometime in the early 17th century in unknown circumstances, a collection of jewellery was stashed beneath the floorboards of a building in Cheapside, London – at that time the street was very much the centre of luxury goods.

(They joked at the time that there was plenty to tempt down on Cheapside, though none of it cheap.)

This time capsule survived the Great Fire, the blitz and 400 years of urban renewal before it was discovered by a demolition crew in 1912. Now known as the Cheapside Hoard, the collection of 400 exquisitely wrought objects resides at the Museum of London.

07 The story of the hoard is fascinating, and the century it was created in, even more so – because these pieces, (as artifacts do!) express SO much about their time. Global exploration, massive new gem finds in South America, the rapid expansion of the merchant class, new technologies and the extraordinary migration of skilled artisans into new trading hubs, contributed to the explosion of creativity in works such as these.

08 I’m struck by their colourful exuberance, the naive charm as well as the exacting skill of the enamellists.

09 The chance to see and handle these pieces has been so valuable to me as an artist, and of course, it will be easy to see how it has informed the new work I will be showing at the Mayo Festival.