Friday 24 October 2008

Introducing... Irene Grishin-Selzer

Two features on two great makers! What a bumper week.

Keeping in tune with our extensive coverage, this week Introducing... presents a conversation with Irene regarding the work in her current exhibition Love You More Than Life. For those of you who have missed our earlier posts on the exhibition, be sure to have a read of the illuminating catalogue essay (authored by Ramona Barry), a peek at the various works (skulls and bears) on display, and don't forget to seek out the subtler details in the exhibition.

The exhibition Love You More Than Life centres around love and death, was there a particular catalyst to the theme, or was it a natural decision?
I’ve always been interested in the strange set up that we inherit- that of Life and death in general, and to me love is the stuff wedged in between both which makes life interesting and death perplexing.

Do you have a favourite piece in the exhibition?
I think the gold skull - Just Like Honey - because it was the hardest and most expensive to make. I wanted it to be super shiny but also textured and worn in places so it didn’t look mechanical. It was a huge relief when it came out of the kiln on its final firing.

When did you decide it was the right time to devote yourself full time to your label?
The right time to devote myself to my label didn’t really feel like a choice. I had a HECS debt and a Masters in art so I wasn’t qualified for any 'real jobs' and it was killing me doing uncreative work. It was hard to let go of my final part time job, but it just wasn’t practical to keep it anymore. It was also very hard when I had to do everything myself, but now I have really great people working with me I can be more creative. I still really enjoy the process of making new work and its very grounding making a business work day to day.

Iggy and Lou Lou has achieved such great success! What have some of the highlights been so far? Was it surreal seeing Nicole Ritchie in Nylon magazine decked out in one your necklaces?
Highlights are being able to travel and meet people who really get into my work on the other side of the world. Yes, its always a bit weird seeing people who are well known wear my work, it just shows how small the world really is. But somehow I still get more of a kick when I see someone wearing a piece when I’m just walking down the street. I feel like they are wearing it because they love it not just because someone has told them that its cool.

Do you differentiate between your jewellery range and sculptural pieces?
I see my sculptural work and jewellery as very different. Obviously just on a time scale, much more time goes into making a sculpture than a piece of jewellery. I often wish I didn’t have the need to make sculptures because they take so much time and effort emotionally and physically, but the desire to make them is always too strong to forget about.

When you were younger, what did you be when you grew up?
When I was little I wanted to be a scientist who made perfumes.

And where do you see yourself in five years?
I don’t try to see myself in 5 years, it feels weird.

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