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Dorothy Erickson: 2024

Dorothy Erickson AM ~ Hesperia: Più di Cinquante – Celebrating 50+ years of making jewellery. 03 - 25 February 2024 | Arstite Contemporary Gallery Sydney, Australia. Browse | Acquire | Collect.
Detail: Dorothy Erickson: Dryandra neckpiece for May I – Hesperia Collection, 2023. Dorothy Erickson ~ Hesperia: Più di Cinquante – Celebrating 50+ years of making jewellery. 03 - 25 February 2024. Artsite Contemporary Sydney Australia.
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03 – 25 February 2024

Dorothy Erickson: Hesperia Più di Cinquante.

Celebrating 50+ years of making jewellery.

Hesperia is the name of the Evening Star. It is also used to denote a western land and I have created a new collection of jewellery and bodyworks inspired by, and a tribute to, the women who were among the first to make art their profession in Western Australia, a land the founding father wished to call Hesperian. Many of these women were also stars in their own time but are now forgotten. ~ Dorothy Erickson, 2024.

This exhibition will include selected key pieces from her personal collection, anticipating both her Retrospective Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) following directly on from this Sydney exhibition, and the release of her biography, Dorothy Erickson: Metamorphosis, Mookaite and the Metropolis, to be published in 2024.

This Exhibition was opened by

Eva Czernis-Ryl MA

Curator, Arts & Design at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

 followed by the launch speech, given in absentia, on behalf of 

Grace Cochrane AM

Independent writer, curator, former Senior Curator, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
Dorothy Erickson’s 

Inspired by Light and Land: Designers and Makers in Western Australia 1970- 21st Century.

Western Australia has a history of craft culture drawn from the foundations of its unique social and environmental heritage. Continuing the story of design and the crafts first articulated in Inspired by Light and Land: Designers and Makers in Western Australia 1829–1969, this tome provides a broad overview of active makers into the 21st century.

Featuring hundreds of craftspeople whose talent, confidence and ‘west coast’ joie de vivre continues to sculpt the story of the state, this book tells of the expansive world of the mineral boom followed by recession and crisis through the 1970s and 1980s, and then the more pensive and austere lead up to the new millennium on into the digital age.

Works of precious stone, wood, textile and clay, woven, stitched, fired and forged are detailed throughout Inspired by Light and Land: Designers and Makers in Western Australia 1970 to the 21st Century. A select fifty designer-makers who made their mark on the national or international stage by the turn of the century are profiled in their disciplines defining a rich history of craftwork in Western Australia. This is a celebration of the designer-makers whose work is bathed in the light or of the land that is Western Australia.

Published by Western Australian Museum 2024

Inspired by Light & Land: Designers and Makers in Western Australia 1970- 21th Century by Dorothy Erickson. Book launch Artsite Contemporary Sydney Australia.

Dorothy Erickson AM acknowledges funding for this exhibition from the Government of Western Australia.

Dorothy Erickson AM acknowledges funding for this exhibition from Government of Western Australia, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Dorothy Erickson’s new exhibition, Hesperia Piu di Cinquante, celebrates over fifty years of making remarkable and highly collectable contemporary jewellery.

This is an exhibition with a number of strands that take different directions to do justice to the different women that have been the source of inspiration that Dorothy’s work honours.

Dorothy Erickson’s intention is to honour the ‘Angels in the Studio’ as women artists were referred to at the turn of the nineteenth century, as opposed to the ‘Angels in the House’  that the poet Coventry Patmore posited as ‘refining influences’ on men who had to venture forth into what he considered the industrialised and contaminating Nineteenth Century commercial world. They were instead women who were supporting themselves in a man’s world. Quite an achievement at this period, notes Dorothy Erickson.

To Dorothy, “their paintings as windows into the artists’ minds, gateways that can provide glimpses of other worlds, stimulate the imagination and let loose a variety of scenarios of what may or may not be behind a closed door or a shuttered window. Paintings can arouse a slight sense of danger, incite the thrill of the chase, expose the forbidden or lead to an awkward feeling of intrusion into a private domain”.

Dorothy was already writing articles about these ‘Angels in the Studio’ , in a crusade to make these women better known. In doing so, she ventured over the thresholds of the paintings frames and very aware of the considerable symbolic meaning she could be attaching to the images she was exploring from another time with other mores.

It might have been at a time when Symbolism was an active artistic movement when many dabbled in Theosophy, but none of these artists could be classed as Symbolist painters,..  it was the design element, rather than hidden meaning that made symbolic doorways … to escape the strictures of the time.

From her interest in original crusaders’ chain mail, Dorothy has created delicate armour for these adventurous new crusaders in the fight for equal opportunity; ..dainty chainmail vests and collars with floral motifs to help shield from the slings and arrows of a male world they dared to challenge… quips Dorothy with a wry smile.