About Dr Karin Findeis

Dr Karin Findeis' work interrogates the position that contemporary jewellery can hold in, and as mediator of, culture. More specifically, Findeis places focus on the impacts that collecting, classification and museology have had on the relationship between objects and memory in both private and public domains. Findeis' work is founded on the jewellery tradition; however, her real focus is the role that objects play in our lives, and the impact of collecting, classification and museology on the relationship between objects and memory. Jewellery is unique in its portability and intimacy. Through the use of diverse materials such as wax, wool (felt), lead, hair and wood alongside precious metals, the conventional becomes personal. In making her jewellery Findeis draws on broad interests and curiosities, such as history, science and photography. For Findeis, jewellery functions as fragments and remnants; as visual narratives that have evolved from the origins of history, culture, and curious fascinations. The result is ‘bijoux’, jewellery that plays in the spaces between our experiences of the body and the world.

Karin Findeis has been making jewellery since 1986 and has exhibited in Australia and internationally since 1988. She was born in Newcastle, a first-generation Australian of German heritage, and moved to Sydney to attend art school. Since then her life has been a pattern of making, travelling, teaching and studying. Much of this has been guided by interests in photography, language, other cultures and collecting remnants of the past. Her travels have included extended stays in Paris and Amsterdam, where she studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie with Onno Boekhoudt, Marion Herbst and Ruudt Peters. After 8 years in Amsterdam she returned to Sydney to complete her Masters degree under Margaret West at SCA, satisfying an interest in bringing together writing and making. As well as making, travelling and studying, she also curates and occasionally writes about jewellery. She has received support for her activities from organisations such as the Australia Council, the Australia China Council, Arts NSW, the Australia-Japan Foundation and Visions of Australia. Since 1988 Karin has been a member of the Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia-NSW and for the last 3 years has held the position of Chair. In 2006 she was the curator and coordinator of 'on Location: making stories', the 12th international conference of the Jewellers & Metalsmiths Group of Australia, held in Sydney. Karin was recently awarded her doctorate from the University of Western Sydney with the exhibition 'samples' at the Macleay Museum, and with a thesis entitled 'Locating Author Jewellery: a taxonomy of contemporary objects'.

Selected publications

  • Words and Things, Studio 2017, Sydney, Australia, 2011
  • Winter Neckpieces, Studio 2017, Waterloo, Sydney, Australia, 2011
  • Once More With Love, Studio 20/17, Sydney, Australia, 2012
  • Utility Our House: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle, Australia, 2011
  • By Example, Museum of Arts & Crafts, Itami, Japan, 2010
  • Winter Brooches, studio 20/17, Sydney, 2010
  • sampler, Craft Victoria, Melbourne, 2009
  • samples: A Taxonomy of Objects, Macleay Museum, Sydney, 2008
  • Once upon a time, SCA Gallery, Sydney, and CAFA Gallery, Beijing, 2007
  • Maiden Voyage, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, 2006

  • Publications
  • By Example: Australian contemporary jewellery, (ed) University of Sydney & Museum of Arts & Crafts Japan, 2010
  • on location: making stories, JMGA-NSW Inc, Sydney, 2007
  • Hidden Cities: Beijing/Sydney, University of Sydney, 2007
  • 'Consuming the Object', Inherited Futures:Technologies to Trap Ideas, Baines & Errey (eds), RMIT University Press, Melbourne, 2005
  • 'We are What We Eat', Challenging Craft, Burnett (ed), Gray's School of Art, Robert Gordon University, 2004