What's been going on....              


+Gilded Encounters.

HADLEY'S ORIENT HOTEL, hobart, tas. DEC - end FEB 2019

Another exciting CUSP collaboration, an exhibition of jewellery and small objects exploring the history and architecture of one of Hobart's oldest hotels - Hadley's Orient Hotel.

"Speculating on secrets hidden and musing on chapters of lives lived, I find that Hadley’s Orient Hotel presents as a character of its own. Its evolution is filled with highs and lows, from its convict foundations and bankruptcy to wealthy patrons and glittering galas.
With every layer of the elaborate wallpaper that is peeled away another layer of history is unveiled; glimpses of the lives of those who built the hotel, those who ran it into near ruin and of those dreamt of what it could be.
Infused into the walls are also the whispers from a fleeting procession of visitors from around the world; adventurers and explorers, politicians and philanderers, artists and royalty, and eventually an audacious shoe salesman who breathed life back into a faltering hotel and resurrected Hadley’s to its former glory.
Chandeliers glint, reflecting and refracting light, and stories are scattered - fractured, glimpsed at briefly. My work explores these hints, glimmers and shadows using both traditional materials and found objects that are embued with time, place and stories themselves - piano keys, antique silver salvers, sandstone, crystal and glass."


+Sustainable Bling.

wild island gallery, hobart, tas. sept- mid Oct 2018

What a delight to be able to show my work with three interstate artists whose work I really admire: Pennie Jagiello, Regina Middleton and Melinda Young.

I call us the 'material girls' because we all like to consider the materials we use especially in relation to what is regarded as waste and what is valuable. We all have a deep love of our environment and especially shorelines I  think!.


+Beach Couture: A Haute Mess - by Marina DeBris.

Maritime museum of tasmania, hobart, tas. JUNE-sept 2018

It's a great privilege for the Vanishing Point artists to exhibit alongside the stunning and confronting works of Marina DeBris.

"'Beach Couture: A Haute Mess', is a collection of wearable pieces by Marina DeBris, made from trash collected from the beaches and oceans. Itmakes visible, in grotesquely amusing fashion, what is often overlooked--but shouldn’t be."


+Cultivate - inspired by nature.


'Cultivate' an exhibition where 10 artists working across the mediums of jewellery, metalwork, ceramics, basketry and textiles were invited to create work that reflects or responds to the natural world around us.

I had such a ball creating a suite of 25 utensils for my work 'ShoreWare'.

"A compulsive beachcomber, happiness is hours meandering along the coast, collecting little treasures offered up by the sea. Fortuitously, living on an island off an island off an island, shorelines abound.
The ocean proffers an endless plethora of riches; from shells, wood, bones and pebbles to glass and plastic. Morphing these often overlooked sea-born offerings into objects to be cherished imbues them with new worth, and a new life.
However the ocean also offers up inspiration of another kind with these gifts; the spines of starfish, the striations of a scallop shell, the serenity of the internal whorl of a sea-aged shell, the perfect patterns of a sea urchin - this trove of texture and form are all a continuous inspiration in the work I make.
My practice explores relationships to landscape, place and interconnections with our environment. The beach combed treasures in these works are combined with recycled sterling silver and transformed into objects that carry an essence of this beautiful land in which we live, and perhaps with the occasional incorporation of manmade objects they also create a moment in which to pause and contemplate the effect we have on our environment."


+Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, 2018.

Museum of South Australia, Adelaide

I was very happy be accepted and Highly Commended for this prize and exhibition for my work 'The Ocean is Crying, Bleeding, Dying. Triptych', a set of three neckpieces. The works explore the issues of ocean debris and the dangers of the chemicals within plastics.

All works that receive a commendation then travel to the National Archives in Canberra to be displayed there for another few months.


+Stanthorpe Art Prize, 2018.


I was selected as a finalist for the Stanthorpe Art Prize too - what a great start to the year :)


+Narrative Jewelry - Tales from the Toolbox.


What an enormous honour to be included in this book with so many jewellers that I totally admire. Wow.

Enormous thanks to the amazing Mark Fenn.

"Featuring 450 full-color photos and 241 of the world’s foremost narrative jewelry makers, this book showcases the best of what today's makers, ranging from newly graduated students to the luminaries of the jewelry world, have to offer us: jewelry that's designed to evoke a range of thoughts and feelings. 

Do you have a piece of jewelry that offers a story? 

What story does the jewelry we own or desire tell?

Why are you attracted to some pieces, but repelled by others? 

The answers unfold in this contemporary compendium, also featuring a foreword by jewelry professor and expert Jack Cunningham, PhD, and text by artists Jo Pond and Dauvit Alexander (The Justified Sinner). 

The makers and images selected for this book are a broad representation of the genre of narrative jewelry, and offer a fascinating look for anyone who wears, collects, or has an interest in jewelry or design."

Order your copy here!


+Vanishing Point II - Unseen 2017.

Institute of Marine & Antarctic Science, Hobart. OCT - NOV 2017.

The Vanishing Point team have got together again in their quest to raise public awareness of the issues associated with ocean debris. This time we are focusing on the inherent dangers of even the tiniest microscopic fragments of plastics on our oceans.

"From walking along coastlines and collecting bags of big bright ocean debris for the 2015 Vanishing Point exhibition and thinking about their effect on fish and sea mammals, my focus has now been narrowed down to particles of plastic we often can't see without the use of a microscope. The dichotomy between the size of the micro plastics and the harm they do is mind-boggling.
I have started to learn how these infinitesimally small particles have an enormous effect; not just on marine life; not just by working their way up the food chain to humans and causing massive health issues; but also by endangering the oceans themselves. For if the oceans become sick, then so do we all.
My work for this exhibition focuses on the chemical interactions of the phthalates (plastic additives) with the ocean. The repeated hexagonal shapes represent the chemical symbol for phthalates, the hormone inhibitors.
The works have been made entirely from ocean debris, plastic rubbish & fishing line already in the waste chain, glass beads and recycled sterling silver."


+Contemporary Wearables Award, 2017.

Toowoomba regional art gallery, QLD. September  2017

Thrilled to be a finalist in this years Contemporary Wearables Biennial Jewellery Award and Exhibition.

The award recognises and promotes innovation in design and use of materials in the creation of contemporary jewellery and is open to prominent and emerging jewellers from Australia and New Zealand.


+Inscription & Place.

Tasmanian museum & art gallery, hobart. june - January  2018

CUSP (Alex Parish, Janine Combes, Sarah Jones/Stubbs and myself) have spent 2016-17 working with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s Henry Baldwin Bequest collection on a project re-interpreting, reframing and contextualising history and memory through the jewellery object.

Bequeathed to TMAG in 2008, the Baldwin Collection was the largest single donation in the museum’s history and contained among other things, jewellery, diaries, letters, books and small domestic objects which speak to the lives of the women of two of colonial Hobart’s leading families, the Manings and Knights.

The resulting artworks fuse references to the forms and materials of objects from the collection with traces of the lives of the women and an overlay of elements from the artists’ own lives and connection to place.

"Looking into’s Emily’s life I create connections through our shared emotions and experiences. Love. Loss. Belonging. It binds us and ties us together, at least for this short time.
Discovering the books that she read throughout her life, I find they speak of her time and of the social mores, but ultimately I look beyond their content to see them simply as objects.
Books are inherently strong and substantial but their pages individually are fragile and ephemeral. Contents are hidden, layer upon layer of unseen words. Stories contained. So many of these descriptors bring me back to the woman I have been researching.
Emily - a tenacious woman who experienced the fragility of life through the death of her husband and two of her children, while remaining strong for those who lived. A woman whose own adventurous stories included eloping to marry her love, while later learning the importance of keeping up a veneer in an age of strict social conventions.…. A woman I can only catch glimpses of as I flick through the pages of her life."


+(un)natural Ocean.

Wild island gallery, hobart. september  2016

I was very happy to be asked to participate in this exhibition at Wild Island, Hobart. They are showcasing three artists whose practice is inspired by the ocean, myself, Jess Leitmanis & Robbie Burrows.


+Wearable Ceramics Masterclass with Peter Hoogeboom.

RMIT, Victoria. february  2016

It was an absolute treat to go up to RMIT and do this course with the amazing Peter Hoogeboom. Peter was incredibly generous in sharing his processes and techniques. We also got to see his exhibition at Gallery Funaki where he let us touch and try on some of his stunning works.


+Edge 2 ~ Isthmus.

Bruny Island. January  2016

Another exciting collaboration under the curation of Caroline Rannersberger focussing on the isthmus - or the Neck, Bruny Island. Featuring 3 painters, 3 3d artists and the Julius Schwing Trio. Julius composed some fantastic music specifically reflecting the Isthmus.


+Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

October  2015

I've been selected as a finalist for the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, Australia's pre-eminent national award for small sculpture presented by Woollahra Council. Artists are required to submit an original, freestanding sculpture measuring up to 80cm in any dimension. Forty three finalists for the 2015 Prize were selected from a record number of 701 entries received this year. The 2015 guest judges are art advisor and curator Barbara Flynn along with collector and philanthropist Penelope Seidler AM.

My work ‘The Family Silver/Unknown Shores’ is a set of hand fabricated spoons made using beachcombed detritus, following on  from the 'Introduced Species' set and is inspired by the silver cutlery canteen sets brought to Australia by the early settlers.


+Serial Exchange as part of Radiant Pavillion.

Loop project space, Melbourne. September 2015

Four Tasmanian and three Melburnian jewellers are collaborating in an exhibition 'Serial Exchange' at Loop Project Space, Melbourne, as part of the Contemporary Jewellery extravaganza that is Radiant Pavillion!

Each artist has selected a one metre square ‘site’ as the inspiration for artworks made individually and collaboratively.  The sites vary from gritty street detail of inner city Melbourne to rocky foreshores of Bruny island, Tasmania. The exchange of sketches, photos and words, accompanied by the developing artwork and potential materials, takes place via a postal service.


+The Contemporary Jewellery Exchange.

international 2015 & 2016

The Contemporary Jewellery Exchange is an art project where jewellery artists from all over the world, are paired and asked to create a unique contemporary piece of jewellery for each other. I was paired with  Janice Derrick from Trinidad and Tobago. It was a happy coincidence that both of us are island dwellers with a love of the ocean. It was a treat to connect with,  make a work for and receive a gorgeous piece from a stranger on the other side of the world.



+ 'Vanishing Point' - an ocean debris arts science collaboration.

Institute of Marine & Antarctic Science, Hobart. May - July 2015.

Excited about this exhibition, all my work was made entirely from ocean debris, plastic rubbish already in the waste chain, recycled silver and Australian or repurposed gemstones.



+ 'Edge' - Peripheries of Practice.

Forestvale Design Centre, Bruny Island. April - May 2015

I was thrilled to be invited to be a part of this exhibition with so many fantasic artists, at the lovely Forestvale Design Centre on glorious South Bruny.


+Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize

Museum of South Australia, Adelaide

I've been selected as a finalist for the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, run by the South Australian Museum.

This prestigious prize invites artists to investigate the world around them and present their own perspective on natural science.

My work 'Introduced Species' is a set of six sterling silver spoons in a found cutlery canteen. The set comprises five orchid spoons that are hand fabricated by me and one found rose spoon .


+'Pushing the Boundaries' - Contemporary Jewellery Tasmania.

Schoolhouse Gallery, Rosny.  September - October 2013


+ 'Towards the Sun'.

schoolhouse gallery, Rosny, TAS. July - August 2013


+ apart exhibition, Lightbox Gallery.

Salamanca Arts Centre, hobart.March 2013

A group of some of the members of The Art of Silver, put together this little exhibition.


+ aRtECYCLE Art Prize.

incinerator gallery, Melbourne

I have been selected as a finalist in the aRtECYCLE Art Prize, which takes place at the Incinerator Gallery, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne. 

Artists are asked to explore the themes of environmentalism and sustainability using either recycled materials or materials that would otherwise be considered disposable.

After doing an Alternative Jewellery Design summer school at UTAS with the fantastic Natalie Holtsbaum I got completely sidetracked playing with cotton buds of all things. In bulk they take on such a different form and become unrecognisable. 

Here's where it led me......

Gossypium Buddlii Splendidus

+ Microcosm.

Art at the Point, Bruny Island. November 2011

"Bruny Island is a microcosm, a Tasmania in miniature. It is a concentration of all the elements of Tasmania bundled up and contained by the shoreline that encircles it.
It is this containment that fascinates me; it invites us to turn inward, a closer inspection. The natural physical boundary allows us to ignore the outside world: that world is happily set adrift, our backs turned upon it.
When on Bruny my attention becomes particularly focused  on opposite ends of the scale spectrum. I love to look closely – to investigate rockpools, to comb the shoreline or to peer at miniscule sundew flowers. But while daytimes are spent looking downwards at minutiae, nighttime’s focus is on the infinite, gazing upwards at the vastness of the starry sky; the world becomes scaled down to a grain of sand."

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower.
William Blake – Auguries of Innocence


+ Slender Threads.

Top Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart. May 2011

"From unraveling and then mapping the strands that make up what it is to belong, to the desire to build a world around me of stability and connectedness; from tracing journeys through a new country, to the ineffable feelings that landscape and connection can bring.

Like engraving onto glass I etch a mesh of fine lines into the landscape where I live and in turn this gauzy fabric of the place in which I belong weaves itself through me, binding me with slender threads."


 © SOPHIE CARNELL. All rights reserved.