The exhibition Women’s Work explores the changing roles of women in craft and society, commenting on the perception of what women do versus what they are capable of. By combining the traditionally masculine craft of silversmithing with hand stitching, this exhibition endeavours to challenge the entrenched gender roles within craft and society while paying homage to those before.
Having been trained in traditional silversmithing, object design, and contemporary art jewellery, Ferguson’s practice is quite eclectic. Her work ranges from simple, subtle and aesthetically motivated forms, to conceptually driven statements on society - all made by hand using traditional craft skills. Being heavily influenced by
street art and popular culture, there is often a cheeky nature that sneaks into Ferguson’s work, with many pieces boasting a hint of interactivity, to further engage the viewer beyond wearability or utility.
“Being a female artist in a traditionally masculine craft I often find myself having to prove my skill and knowledge before being taken seriously. By combining the laborious craft of silversmithing with the feminine art of embroidery I hope to challenge these entrenched gender roles while paying homage to those before me.”
About Gretal Ferguson
After completing a music degree and travelling the world, Gretal Ferguson gave into her ever-present passion for making and enrolled in Jewellery and Object Design at Design Centre, Enmore, Sydney. Not wanting to commit to a 2 year course she only payed for the first 6 months, 4 years later she emerged with an Advanced Diploma, 1 year residency and multiple graduate awards.
In 2016, Ferguson received the Ian Potter Individual Travelling Artist Grant. Deciding to further her education, she travelled to the UK and completed a Masters of Jewellery, Silversmithing, and Related Products at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery. Upon her return to Australia, Ferguson was accepted into the Associate Program at JamFactory in Adelaide, working out of the Jewellery and Metal Studio where she has had the time and space to develop work for several local and international exhibitions, including The Itami International Craft Prize in Japan and Triple Parade in Shanghai.