Capturing exquisite rawness
Amanda Charge’s intricately crafted jewellery and delicate paper art is inspired
by the landscape of her natural surroundings and the beauty of her backyard.
Growing up in the rugged scenery of Tasmania’s northwest coast, Amanda scoured the sea front of her family’s sparse and windy farming property, searching for natural objects to draw upon in her blossoming jewellery and art practice.
“The farm beach is covered in the most beautifully tumbled beach pebbles, and many of them have found their way into my jewellery,” she says. “They are so perfect, even after years of being thrown around by the wild ocean, and I wanted to capture their exquisite rawness.”
Amanda and her husband Derek first moved to Newcastle in the mid 1990s. But Derek’s work kept the growing family on the move, and they soon found themselves relocating to Scone, then Jamberoo and finally to New Zealand. After an absence of 18 years, Amanda, Derek and their three daughters have now permanently settled back into their old Newcastle East stomping ground.
She is one of many local artists featured at Maitland Regional Art Gallery’s Shop. MRAG Director Gerry Bobsien explains, “We present award-winning exhibitions and events, alongside engaging public programs and a unique selection of items by local artists and makers in our Gallery Shop. Supporting artists and connecting audiences to art and ideas is core to what we do. Our Gallery Shop allows us to do this directly, by showcasing a unique selection of suppliers to suit every budget.”
Explore and grow
During her time in New Zealand, Amanda developed her art practice further – it had been on hold while the girls were young. She studied at Auckland University’s ELAM School of Fine Arts and was mentored by Gae Webster, one of New Zealand’s leading artists, who encouraged her to explore the intricate world of art jewellery, but also to capture the opportunities of working with brush, paper and canvas. Amanda now divides her time between silversmith work and artworks created with handmade papers, pigment inks, textiles and threads.
“These two art practices definitely cross paths. My paperworks are delicate, thoughtful and peaceful as I explore traditional Japanese techniques of floating ink on water, waiting for the exact time to capture a memory.
Read more in the Summer issue of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.
Photography courtesy of Amanda Charge