Born out of recognition of the need for ongoing support for talented New Zealand graduates after completing their undergraduate study, Handshake is a unique mentoring project pairing New Zealand based contemporary jewellers with mentors from throughout New Zealand and internationally who occupy a position of idol or revered maker, creating an ongoing relationship. The project has existed as a framework where mentors provide critical feedback, support and knowledge to a new generation of makers, encouraging symbiosis and a ‘give and take’ between mentors and mentees. Founded by jeweller Peter Deckers in 2011 and in its third iteration, Handshake 3 sees a shift in the mentor / mentee relationship, where the mentor becomes collaborator. Handshake 3 articulates the different nature and stages of a collaborative creative process and works range from marquete and test based experimentation, text and drawing through to finely resolved sculpture and jewellery.
A challenging framework, but one which has in New Zealand and internationally be heralded for its openness, its ability to connect practitioners inter-generationally, and to find ways to keep criticality and experimentation alive in a maker’s practice once outside of an education system. In these pairings for Objectspace the forces of language, time zones, social hierarchies and culture are all at play, set against a timeframe of deadlines which sees them produce exhibitions and publications in Auckland, Stockholm, Munich and Wellington.
Harrell Fletcher and Renee Bevan
Image Credit: image left: Renee Bevan; right: Jay Moon