Metadecorative publication essayist, Grant Thompson, says that "'metadecorative', the word Curtis solders together to title this exhibition, points to her work as decoration about decoration, as decoration that investigates the intricacies of decoration's histories, languages and forms to produce new forms of decoration. For Curtis, these investigations have her exploring European museum collections, trawling library shelves, reading historical and contemporary writings on decorative arts and practices and sifting through the contents of second hand stores. While the research activities are diverse and the garnered treasures eclectic, the work at the bench is precise. It seeks to produce jewellery pieces that have the feel of the present through the quotation of remembered shapes, textures and patterns." Curtis' interest in the museum has also inspired the display of the works in this exhibition.
Inviting the viewer and the wearer to reconsider decorative history, Grant Thompson suggests that the works in Metadecorative "stand in for moments that decorate a remembered, but not lived history." As such these works serve to remind us, through the use of dated and familiar twentieth century decorative materials and insignia, of a not so distant time and place to which we are all intimate.
This exhibition has been assisted with funding from Manukau Institute of Technology.
A print publication for Metadecorative will be available for sale from Objectspace during the exhibition. (Image. Red Bow Brooch, Mary Curtis, 2010, Silver, wallpaper, fabric, resin and stainless wire. Courtesy of the artist.)