Proposals with Promise

Promise stripA project is planned for the Melbourne festival of contemporary jewellery, Radiant Pavilion, 24 August – 3 September 2017.

As a festival-based project, Promise seeks to engage the general public in the kinds of possibilities that can be opened up by jewellery practitioners. The specific focus is the common challenge of making a commitment. This commitment can be to oneself, to others or to a non-human entity such as the planet. The working principle is that the enduring materiality of an object provides us with a tangible reminder of a vow we have made. Further thoughts about the significance of promising in the contemporary scene can be found here.

Promise will take place in a location easily accessed by the public. Visitors will be encouraged to enter and browse through the various objects for making promises. Some examples of promises are:

  • A promise to one’s body to take better care of personal health
  • A promise to love someone forever
  • A promise to a dying person
  • A promise to always be available to someone when needed
  • A promise to remember someone always
  • A promise to stand up to the rights of minorities, such as Muslims
  • A promise to always favour locally-made products
  • A promise to stand up for where one lives
  • A promise to protect the environment
  • A treaty between indigenous and settler peoples

The objects may be for free, or a small price. They are usually designed for the person making the promise, but they can also be for the person to whom one promises something. There is the possibility of online sales after the festival.

Artists are encouraged to look at the traditions associated with promise rituals. These can be found in most cultures and may be adapted for modern conditions.

Proposals are called from those interested in being part of this project. These proposals will be used to secure resources and confirm participation in the festival.

This project follows a series of ventures in the “social object”. The touring exhibition Joyaviva: Live Objects across the Pacific featured modern amulets as objects that help deal with the uncertainties of life.


Proposals are due 26 August. Please include:

  • Outline (around 200 words)
  • 5-6 images (can include sketches or prototypes)
  • CV

Please send materials to

Curator’s declaration

A curator of Promise, I declare that I will respect the contributions of all participating artists and ensure that their efforts are acknowledged and rewarded. I also commit to providing the public with evidence of the way that jewellery can make a difference in their lives.

Kevin Murray

Did Bronwyn Bishop need to resign? of public life in Australia seems consumed with the demand for apologies. This is particularly the case with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, whose over-indulgence in expenses was seen to require some contrition on her part. After weathering the storm for several days, Bishop eventually made a statement that acknowledged an error of judgement. The popular media did not accept this, claiming it was too little, too late.

Her situation now seems untenable. Finally, she tendered her resignation. Is there anything that she could have done to appease public opinion?

Traditional societies often require the perpetrator, or family thereof, or offer a precious object as an acknowledgement of the seriousness of the charge. The Iroquois tribes used elaborate wampum belts for this purpose. So is there anything that Bishop could have offered?

What could Bishop offer? Given her standards of dress, a compromise with her normally opulent appearance may have gone some way to showing that she has taken criticism to heart. I could have handed in her pearls as the ultimate sacrifice. Pearls are not only objects if adornment, but their use in Anglo sumptuary laws ties them to the operations of power.

But it’s too late now.

Custodia-Panera de mimbre

Desde sus inicios coloniales, Chile ha sido un país guiado por la religión. En un país donde el 67,37% de la población se declara católica (según datos del Censo 2012), la religión se ha planteado como uno de los pilares fundamentales de la sociedad. Actualmente, la religión forma parte de la identidad cultural chilena. Dentro de los principales postulados de la religión católica,  se encuentran el respeto, la inclusión, el amor al prójimo,  el compañerismo y sobre todo, la aceptación, sin embargo, la Iglesia Católica es una institución elitista, que no acepta diferencias y que, a pesar de sus postulados, no acoge al otro con sus creencias y su historia personal.

En la cultura occidental, sobre todo en las tradiciones chilenas,  la hostia y el pan poseen un carácter sagrado en su condición de alimentos.  La hostia es un elemento de gran relevancia para el catolicismo, simboliza el cuerpo de Cristo y se ingiere dentro del rito de la Eucaristía. En las ceremonias católicas, la Custodia u Ostensorio (del latín ostentare, “mostrar”) adquiere gran relevancia. Corresponde a una pieza de oro u otro metal precioso donde se coloca la hostia previamente consagrada para la adoración de fieles y creyentes.

Por otra parte, el pan reviste gran importancia en la economía mundial, actúando como un  índice de medición del valor de vida. A través de su precio en el comercio es posible determinar la evolución del costo de vida de cada nación.  En sus inicios, el pan era fabricado y compartido al interior del núcleo familiar. Posteriormente, gracias a procesos de industrialización, comenzó su comercialización masiva en zonas urbanas.

La obra consiste en una custodia-panera fabricada en mimbre, buscando rescatar la esencia del rito de la eucaristía: La Comunión, aludiendo a su significado esencial, para entenderla como la unión entre las personas.

Se ha optado por el mimbre, porque es material característico de la zona central de Chile, y la forma de la panera, que corresponde a un objeto presente en cada casa a lo largo del país.

El pan en la Custodia de mimbre simboliza el  compartir y el alimentar, convirtiéndose en un símbolo de aprobación, reconocimiento y bendición a las distintas formas de amar que existen en la sociedad.

La propuesta de activación del  objeto corresponde a la instalación de una mesa rectangular con un mantel blanco inmaculado y sobre esta,  la Custodia-Panera con un pan marraqueta en su interior. Esta mesa se ubicará fuera de la Catedral de Santiago, sitio emblemático del catolicismo en Chile.  El ritual se realizará un día domingo a mediodía, coincidiendo con la misa principal de la semana.

Gracias a:

  • Marcela Rodríguez
  • Paula Melo
  • André Barbet
  • Almendra Arraño

Objeto Social Piñón


Before reading I recommend you see this video for you to understand because we chose the concept of reconciliation in Chile.

The challenge we have chosen is the “reconciliation” between the Mapuche and Huinca (common Chilean).

The task is to create an object that includes the media of Gold and Ceramics. The object is shaped pendant reliquary inside it contains the representation of a pinion (fruit or seed typical Mapuche culture); outside the shrine hung hooves modules together with red braids (red blood relationship to the Mapuche that we Chileans, “we have the same blood”). The order will be delivered to the patriarch of the family and will have to pass from generation to generation (generation gesture).

Pinion will be made with clay, which contain the seeds of Araucaria (Pinion). This pinion can be planted in future generations, recalling the gesture of returning the land to the Mapuche. The reliquary will be made of copper, which is a very typical Chilean territory material. Chilean family (for each group member) conduct braids, which hung goat hooves. This is alluding to the generational gesture, bracelets braids will have to withdraw (Mapuche) and quedárselas memory of the object as you step through your hands. The idea is that the last person who receives this object plant this seed to grow a gesture Araucaria and the recovery of their land is generated. How to record this act is through photography and video.

The ritual will be held in the Mapuche New Year, which is the 24th of June in a Ruca located in Lampa (RM, Province of Chacabuco). But the idea is previously performed relations with the people living in this area, there would begin the ritual.


  • Milena Moena
  • Antonia Gomez
  • Saez Abigail
  • Francisco Astudillo
  • Eduardo