Jane Sutherland: Blending fashion, jewellery and art

Kingston-based artist Jane Sutherland will present her jewellery, fashion and design-inspired art pieces at the Ivy Box art gallery in Queenstown this spring. 

Jane Sutherland established her label in 2004, bringing her background in jewellery-making to the fashion industry. Her work is part metalwork, part fashion and all are art pieces in their own right. 

Her passion for metalwork began as a youngster. Jane’s father is also a jeweller and a teacher. As a child, Jane would go with her dad on trips across the lower South Island to teach jewellery-making workshops. When Jane was older, she worked alongside a master jeweller in a contemporary art gallery in Dunedin. 

Fashion, art and metalwork

“I’ve always been drawn to metal,” explains Jane. 

“When I finished working with the master goldsmith I was at a loose end so I started making metal designs like wee nuts and bolts and attaching them to t-shirts. I liked how they turned out, so I thought: what can I do with these?

“I wasn’t familiar with the fashion industry at the time, but I took the pieces to Nom*d and Plume in Dunedin and Angel Devine in Queenstown. They bought them all off me. 

“After that, I got the bug and I started making more and approaching boutiques across the country.” 

Jane became very involved in New Zealand’s fashion industry, but always felt a strong pull towards metalwork and jewellery. This unusual element of her fashion work has always been a key point of difference and a key trademark. 

Fashion by Jane Sutherland

Back to her metalwork roots 

After many years of successfully designing and selling clothes and accessories, Jane has brought her label back to its roots. Now selling exclusively through her website and the Ivy Box, Jane’s distinctive and moody metalwork is back with force. 

“My fashion is now trans-seasonal, not tied to a season and I’m bringing in more jewellery and fashion accessories to my collections. 

“I like to have a point of difference. My work has an androgynous look. It’s edgy. You can recognise it as being mine and that goes back to the metalwork on most garments.”

Jane works with a range of metals, but recently she’s been drawn to copper. Sourcing both new and recycled materials, she says she’s drawn to its rose gold colour and malleability that lends itself to more creative possibilities. 

“I’m using recycled copper – it’s good to be part of the recycling movement and people seem to enjoy wearing copper as much as gold or silver at the moment. 

“It’s nice and easy to work with and looks like rose gold polished. I like the ageing process of copper and how it tarnishes, but it’s easy to polish up again too.” 

Jane Sutherland at the Ivy Box Spring 2021

Examples of Jane Sutherland’s jewellery, fashion and accessories will be at the Ivy Box this spring. One collection she’s excited about includes metal and leather collars that are “fashion and jewellery combined”. 

“Instead of wearing jewellery, you can put this collar on… it’s fashion and jewellery combined, they’re an accessory. They’re really fun. They’re not just metal, the addition of another material brings in a whole new element.

“I’m very excited [to be at the Ivy Box]! It’s exciting to be beside such amazing artists and I look forward to bringing something new and fresh.”

The culture and history of beading with Hannah Bailly

Beadwork artist Hannah Bailly has created bead jewellery for more than 34 years. 

Originally from Northern California, she began studying the art of Native American beadwork at the age of 18. Since then, Hannah has taken inspiration from beadwork through the ages. She’s explored India, Europe and parts of the Middle East with an artist’s eye.

Today, she’s based in her sunny Beadworkz studio in Dunedin. 

Original bead necklace

Exploring the world of beading

Over her career, Hannah has had many incredible experiences.

“One of my favourite memories is buying gemstones in Jaipur, India. I went to the gem dealers and found the right people down the back alleyways to find the authentic gems. It was amazing.” 

Hannah says another special moment was repairing a 1920s Art Deco necklace for a well-known New Zealand fashion designer. 

“Over time, the necklace had lost some of its beads. Others had broken and some of the weave patterns had disintegrated. She asked if I could repair it and it was difficult because it had the tiniest beads and they’re really hard to find. They couldn’t be found in New Zealand so I had to get them from my supplier in California. 

“Repairing that necklace was special because it brought me more into the New Zealand fashion industry. But it was also a wonderful experience doing the repair. Repairing an ancient piece is rewarding for everyone. It’s rewarding for me because I feel like I’m part of something timeless and it was rewarding for her because she could wear that special piece again.” 

The culture behind bead jewellery

Alongside her beadwork, Hannah teaches Cultural Anthropology at a university. Though the two fields are quite different, anthropology casts a light on the cultural meaning behind beadwork.

“There are many different reasons why people have traditionally done beadwork. But I think in a nutshell, it’s about social status and ritual. In different cultures, like Native American and African cultures, beadwork is worn by people with different statuses. 

“The peyote stitch of Native American beadwork is worn by the shaman during peyote rituals. It’s worn as an emblem that signifies that ritual and it takes them deeper into the spirit realm. That’s one area of social status. It is status combined with mysteries. 

“Some of the African tribes would wear beadwork to signify their standing as royalty. The different pieces that they wore would signify their status. So in a nutshell, it’s a mix of status and ritual.” 

Original bead jewellery

Themes behind Hannah’s beadwork

Hannah says the idea of ritual is carried through her work. 

“When I’m beading, I go into a meditative space. It’s extremely therapeutic in terms of mindfulness. I sit for hours and I just slip into a particular state of mind – that’s a ritual in itself. So producing a piece that comes out of that can be seen as a piece that has engaged in this deep, meditative process. Another, popular way of looking at that is the idea of slow fashion. 

“It’s handmade and has a different energy to something mass-produced.”

Her artwork can be described as ‘otherworldly’ and Hannah takes influences from different ages and cultures. 

“I do a lot of beadwork that could be described as Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I’ve been through a Victorian phase. Some of my work is medieval in appearance, too. When I start using natural materials like the labradorite stones, that takes you into this mysterious zone.” 

Beadwork jewellery in Queenstown

Hannah Bailly will present a wide range of elaborate beadworks that can be worn or enjoyed as an art piece at the Ivy Box. 

“I’m using a lot of natural stones, so I’m going for that ‘mystique’ look. There’s definitely a medieval feel coming through for me in this range too.” 

Hannah first stumbled across the art gallery a few years ago, while visiting the town. 

“I walked in and was just enthralled by Lynda’s artwork. Her work is mysterious and beautiful. So I introduced myself, showed Lynda some images of my artwork and she said: ‘Oh, I want that ring!’. 

“I feel like our artworks are a good match. I feel honoured and excited to be part of the new gallery.” 

Find a range of Hannah Bailly’s eye-catching and intricate beadwork at the Ivy Box gallery from Spring 2021. 

Shadow play: the work of weaver Jasmine Clark

Artist and weaver Jasmine Clark creates sculptures from woven materials. Her work plays with form and shadow, creating striking artworks that are unlike any other. 

Based in Arrowtown, Jasmine’s work will feature in the opening art exhibition at The Ivy Box art gallery. The gallery re-opens in September 2021 after an extensive renovation project.  

“All of my work is created using woven materials,” says Jasmine, “For a long time I was only using recycled copper wire, now I am using rattan (the inside of cane). My hands are starting to feel those harder materials so I’m adapting and exploring other materials.” 

Weaving inspired by nature

Jasmine grew up in Kare Kare on Auckland’s West Coast, where she developed a deep appreciation of nature and natural forms. As a youngster, she was a serious shell collector.

Her introduction to the world of weaving came from her grandmother and mum, who were both rug weavers. 

“Mum used to set me up on a little loom when I was a kid. I went straight to art school from high school and when I was about 18, I did a night class on flax weaving. I was hooked and I’ve been weaving ever since.” 

Jasmine has a Bachelor in three-dimensional design from Unitec Design School (Auckland) and a certificate in visual arts from Nelson Polytechnic. She regularly attends conferences in Australia and New Zealand, teaching and learning more as she goes. 

Though she has moved away from flax weaving, Jasmine still uses natural materials. Her work features materials like bull kelp, willow and rattan, all woven into natural shapes that play with shadow and light. 

“Most of my work is based on natural forms and natural materials. I use found driftwood and recycled wire, rattan… 

“I love playing with shadows and natural forms. Weaving lends itself beautifully to shadow play so I always try to incorporate that.” 

Rattan weave sculpture by Jasmine Clark casts a shadow on a white wall

New Beginnings exhibition

Jasmine says she’s excited to be part of The Ivy Box gallery’s New Beginnings exhibition this spring.  

“I visited the gallery the other day and it’s amazing – so cool and fresh and funky. And you can’t beat that location by the lake…”

From her studio in Arrowtown, Jasmine works on commissions but the exhibition has offered an opportunity to experiment and create something completely different.

“I’m using rattan and experimenting with different ways to dye it. So I’ll probably do that for Lynda’s gallery. 

“I’ll also incorporate driftwood which I have been charring with a blow torch. This is similar to a technique used in Japan for cladding.

“Playtime has become a luxury recently. So that’s the thing I’m most looking forward to. I’ve got some ideas and I’m working on something new for the exhibition. I won’t be repeating something I have already done and I’m excited to share that.”

The Ivy Box’s opening exhibition, New Beginnings, starts 24th September 2021. The exhibition features new work by a multi-disciplinary range of contemporary New Zealand artists.