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Blanche Tilden | Ripple Effect: a 25 year survey

Blanche Tilden | Ripple Effect: a 25 year survey


27 August - 22 October 2022 |

Blanche Tilden—ripple effect: a 25 year survey

A Geelong Gallery touring exhibition

LINKS: 3D exhibition tourexhibition opening event (RSVP) | in conversation event (RSVP)

Geelong Gallery’s 25 year survey of Melbourne based jeweller, Blanche Tilden, will showcase her remarkable and critically acclaimed practice in contemporary jewellery.

Celebrating Tilden’s career in innovative contemporary design, this first major survey of the artist’s work will include both historical and contemporary works loaned from Australian public and private collections, in addition to a series

of photographic portraits of private collectors wearing their personal Tilden jewellery.

Tilden will revisit and reinterpret previous work to create new forms that expand on the key themes of mechanical movement, and industrial and architectural uses of glass, translating these concepts from the ‘macro’ immensity of the built environment to the intimacy of the jewellery object.

Blanche Tilden has a national and international reputation for her transformation of everyday and industrial materials into aesthetically refined, conceptually rich wearable objects. Tilden’s work has been acquired by all major Australian and significant international museum collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.

Geelong Gallery Director & CEO, Jason Smith said ‘This exhibition and accompanying publication will delight a diverse audience. Tilden’s work appeals across art, craft, design and industrial design disciplines and is often interpreted as accessible and democratic rather than exclusive. People value artists’ reflections and propositions on the material culture of their times and its values.’

Smith continues, ‘Tilden’s work has a strong contemporary relevance in terms of its materiality and the techniques of its production. Jewellery and wearable objects have cross-cultural and cross- generational appeal due to human fascination with adornment and the evolution of jewellery as a discipline and a form. This is an exhibition in which people will see themselves reflected.

Over the past 25 years Tilden’s work has been collected by institutions around the country but it has not been examined in any depth. The opportunity to extend regional and interstate audiences for her work is important, and as such Geelong Gallery’s touring itinerary includes tertiary organisations, art-making centres and museums.’

The survey exhibition will draw together six to seven significant bodies of work made between 1995 and 2020 and enable the artist for the first time to comprehensively review the formal and conceptual evolution of her work in one major exhibition.

This exhibition celebrates the City of  Greater Geelong’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design and Blanche Tilden’s remarkable 25 year career at the nexus of art and design.


Blanche Tilden—the artist

Blanche Tilden has maintained a vibrant practice for over twenty-five years, forging an international reputation in the dual fields of contemporary jewellery and studio glass.

Tilden’s distinctive combinations of glass and metal explore the ever- present use of glass in objects and the built environment. Recognised for its innovation and originality, Tilden’s work has been acquired by all major Australian and significant international museum collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Exhibiting since 1992, Tilden’s work has been selected for significant exhibitions, including New Glass Now, Corning Museum of Glass, Unexpected Pleasures: the Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery, London Design Museum and National Gallery of Victoria, and Bodywork: Contemporary Jewellery, National Gallery of Australia.

Living and working in Melbourne, Blanche Tilden is represented by Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, and is currently completing a PhD at the School of Art and Design, Australian National University, Canberra.


Exhibition touring schedule

  • Geelong Gallery, VIC, from Saturday  8 May to Sunday 1 August 2021
  • UNSW Galleries, Sydney, NSW, from  Friday 20 August to Saturday 20 November 2021
  • National Art Glass Collection/Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW, from Saturday 4 December 2021 to Sunday 13 February 2022
  • Jam Factory Seppeltsfield, SA, from Saturday 26 February to Sunday 1 May  2022
  • Artisan, Brisbane, QLD, from Saturday 27 August 2022 to Saturday 22 October 2022                     
  • Canberra Museum & Gallery, ACT, from Saturday 5 November 2022 to Sunday 12 February 2023
  • UNSW Galleries, Sydney, NSW, from Saturday 1 April 2023 to Sunday 4 June 2023