Art of the goldsmith


They say dogs are a man’s best friend. If that is true, then it is certainly understandable that the parallel expression ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ may indeed hold some truth as well.
Of course, not all jewellery is fitted with diamonds, and eight women from Namibia and South Africa combined their abilities to bring an exhibition at the Omba Gallery in the Crafts Centre titled ‘Fine Ounce’, blending the fine skills of art and technicalities of jewellery making.
Birthed out of the conversation around ‘jewellery’ vs. ‘art’ and whether these two terms can ever be synonyms, Fine Ounce Goldsmiths’ Collective proves indeed that they can be. Although ultimately they are meant to be worn around the neck and wrists, all the pieces of jewellery have an air of individuality, a personality that percolates past the tourmaline, rose quartz and garnet. Many of the jewellery has an African touch to them and several of them will serve as conversation starters, particularly the frog jewellery that resembles a Middle Eastern smoke incense burner.
The artists also delve briefly into acrylic paint. A small table stocked with these provide a bit of variety to the exhibition. Painted on reused rubber, the little portraits are replicas of the drawings done by San people on the walls of deep Namibian caves ages ago. The blue crane’s song and the stars of dawn are a personal favourite.
If you are able to fork out the cash required to take home one the jewellery, many of which are around the N$5000 price range, you will not regret popping into the Omba Gallery. Or you can simply check it out to appreciate good art and jewellery. The Fine Ounce exhibition ends on Wednesday 9 July.