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Noovo Editions

Noovo Editions is an independent editorial project with online and paper editions. First of its kind in Spain from an unique and contemporary perspective on the international panorama,
Noovo seeks not only to be an aesthetic arbiter but also a cultural mediator at the juncture between Fashion, Photography & Jewellery.
A platform to show the highest level of creativity from around the world

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Gaffa is a contemporary jewelers’ and artists’ oasis in the centre of the city of Sydney. By Melissa Pearce

Marking out a creative precinct in the CBD, after four solid years in Surry Hills, the traditional magnet for independent galleries in Sydney, is an ambitious endeavor. And choosing an old police station site ever more curious. But Gaffa has taken the risk and run with it, bringing an artistic hub to life among the office blocks.

Kelly Robson started Gaffa with co-founder Aidan Li as a cross-platform access space and resource for urban art. From its launch, the initiative was always a strong supporter of jewellery artists but now Gaffa exhibits and works with over 170 mostly Sydney artists from all disciplines each year, in a most unlikely setting.

“The impetus is to maximize audience cross-over and relationships between the artists", says Robson. “We believe that collective, project-based forms of creative development allow us to locate and access the best media, skill-bases and contexts to most effectively convey and challenge particular sets of ideas".

Robson has a MVA from the Sydney College of the Arts and her own work examines personal coping mechanisms through her ongoing series of complex fictional products – molded and vacuum-packed therapeutic tools for consumers, such as ‘free range harvested fairy dust’.

Gaffa's exhibition program is mainly devised by artists who have sent through a proposal for how they would like to use the space. However, Organisation Director & visual artist Robson, 31, and her team, Amy Robson, 28, and Nina Baker, 26, both contemporary jewellery and object makers, curate on average two annual exhibitions of artists they feel encapsulate the Gaffa sensibility in aesthetic and execution. An intern, artist Grace Mackey, and a guest curator, J.D. Reforma, round out the staff.

Natalia Milosz-Piekarska
Bite-Size
   

A multi-level experience


The independently funded three-storey complex is more than comprehensive: there are three galleries, workshops and studio space, and Sterling, Gaffa’s shop featuring modern and wearable items from established and emerging jewellery talent from Australia and New Zealand and glass, ceramics and lighting artists. Gaffa wants customers to understand the stories and creative process responsible for their handmade purchase and promotes interaction with creators and a 'behind the scenes' look at their chosen treasure. The in-house Klink café is also supporting Sydney artisans with its use of Golden Cobra coffee from Glebe.

Who are some of the most collectable Gaffa artists at the moment?

“Mark Gerada (www.markgerada.net) is a painter we have shown twice and has a very strong following of collectors", says Robson. “In terms of jewellers, Mark Vaarwerk (www.vaarwerk.com) and Natalia Milosz-Piekarska (http://ahhness.blogspot.com) are two artists our clients love".

The move towards office land was prompted by a desire to extend their reach.

“Surry Hills is certainly a much loved area by artists but we felt that our mission is to make the art world more accessible to the general public and people who are not so familiar with the Surry Hills scene. On Clarence Street we have the opportunity to introduce the artist-run concept to an environment where everything that surrounds us is heavily corporate", says Robson.

Increasingly this section of Clarence Street, between Druitt and Market Streets, is buzzing with creative industry types. Time Out Sydney, IMG Media and Paramount Pictures Australia all have offices along here, and a raft of baristas and small bar owners have made fierce the competition for breakfast, lunch and post-work entertainment. No jailhouse blues here The gallery’s building has an intriguing history, originally the Clarence Street Police Station, built in 1881 and ceasing incarceration duties in 1967. Artist and retailers are able to pursue 12-month leases of one of four spaces in the ground floor arcade, in what were formerly jail cells.

Prior to Robson’s tenure the building was a job recruitment agency though it is hard to imagine the beautiful heritage listed site was covered in 80s carpeting and fibro partition walls.

“We did plenty of gutting and painting but nothing structural", recalls Robson. “It was like a cleansing process and the more we removed, the more the character of the building itself shone through".

Studio artists who can be there quite late at times have surprisingly not remarked on any ghostly occurrences: “The building has a wonderful, warm and positive vibe for somewhere where nasty things are likely to have happened".

Emily Snadden
ring
Larissa Landinez
Topaz
Emily Snadden
bangle
Natalia Milosz-Piekarska
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
   
Melinda Young
'un-natural naturally' brooches'
Melinda Young
'un-natural naturally' brooches'
Lalita Peeranan
silver n gold ring
Natalia Milosz-Piekarska
2 little monsters
   
Emily Snadden
Pine Pendants
Mark Vaarwerk
brooches made of sterling silver, stainless steel, crayon. largest diameter of 45mm.
Photo Credit: Mark Vaarwerk
Lisa West, New Zealand:
Stone Moth Brooches
Hand carved jasper, Lapis Lazuli and Tiger stone, set in sterling silver
More info: http://www.gaffa.com.au

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