This installation presents a selection of recent neck pieces by Lisa Walker, each of which utilises a range of materials from New Zealand collected by Walker when she returned home from Munich last December after 14 years abroad. The construction of the neck pieces resembles that of contemporary Polynesian lei, where the designs frequently draw upon found materials, both natural and manufactured, in bright colours and textures. Walker's works also refer to developments in contemporary international jewellery as well as to the ‘Bone Stone Shell' jewellery movement that emerged in New Zealand in the 1980's. Damian Skinner has observed that Lisa Walker's ability to "play a game with both European and New Zealand jewellery makes her jewellery a joy to experience both at home and abroad."
Skinner describes Walker's work as "a challenge to our expectations and presumptions of what jewellery is. Her attack on the notion of permanence and the lingering expectations that jewellery should adorn and beautify the owner/wearer is ferocious and sometimes audacious, and, if you can accept its terms, kind of thrilling. But if a New Zealand viewer can share in what makes Walker an important and interesting jeweller within the world of European contemporary jewellery, we can also discern a dimension in her practice that speaks specifically to our history, the issues of jewellery that have emerged in New Zealand in the past forty years."
Lisa Walker is a leading New Zealand jeweller who was based in Germany from 1995 to 2009. Walker's work is held in leading public and private collections internationally and nationally, including the Auckland War Memorial Museum, The New Dowse and The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The subject of an impressive monograph in 2008 by Cologne and New York based Darling Publications, Lisa Walker is an important international figure in contemporary jewellery and was the recipient of the prestigious Françoise van den Bosch Award in 2010.