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Barbara Nanshe

My sculpture has reflected my concerns with woman’s lived experience; extinction and environmental vandalism and pieces to honour the earth.

I chose primarily wood, recycled metal and found objects to convey my concerns and interests.

I continue to be concerned by the environmental loss we face in the 21st Century and treatment of animals.

I make sculpture which tells stories of my personal connection and everyday interaction with the natural world and using primarily recycled materials, I continue to make work which comments on climate change and extinction and what is important to me as a woman.

I have been widely collected, with all pieces from my exhibitions purchased to date.

My clients purchase my work because it is ethically produced and they cite personal connection with the themes and stories also as a reason to collect.

I am also a prolific jeweller and sell my work widely across Australia with some pieces sent to the USA, Sweden, Berlin and London.

My last exhibition of sculpture was a group show for NAS Mentor Program 2022.

I am currently completing a body of sculpture for a solo exhibition at StraitJacket in Broadmeadow, opening July 22 2023.

I completed a collection of jewellery in March to be included in Romanian Jewellery Week 2023, for exhibition in Bucharest October 4 to 8, which I will be attending.

I was born in Launceston on Kanamaluka Traditional Lands in 1964.

I graduated in 1990 from a 4 Year BAVA, majoring in Sculpture at the University of Tasmania, Launceston Campus. I was an exchange student at Newcastle University in 1989 and for the past 33 years I have lived and worked in Newcastle on Worrimi Traditional Land.

I have been an exhibiting artist since 1990, exhibiting Sculpture, Jewellery and Collage both nationally internationally.  I have had 7 solo exhibitions and many more group ones. My main areas of production are sculpture and Jewellery.

 In 1987 my sculpture developed from a need to express my experience and limitations as a woman. Initially my work presented a discourse on women’s rights and position in the home reflecting the bigger picture. I used prosthetic limbs, dress patterns, masks, recycled coasters and materials such as Lead and wood to express how I felt about being a woman in a patriarchal world. My sculpture was always life size so as to influence personal space. I had many group exhibitions toward this concern titled “A woman’s Work”, “Her Story” and “6 Part Cow”

From there my work developed to honour female principles and form. Titles such as “Pieces of Ceredwin”, “Fossil Moon” and “A temple for My Familiar”.

My jewellery developed alongside my symbolically feminist sculpture. I used natural forms, recycled and found materials in a tribal style reflecting my life by the river and sea in Tasmania.  As an environmentalist I have always been attracted to natural materials and recycling.

My sculpture changed around 1998 from my concerns with the woman’s lived experience to those regarding  extinction, environmental vandalism and animal welfare and a need to produce work to honour the earth. I chose primarily wood, recycled metal and found objects to convey my concerns and interests with shows entitled “Wing”, “Under The Dreaming”, and “Spirit of Abundance”.

I currently own a retail business in Islington selling my sculpture and handmade jewellery. This business was established in 2012 and has had 3 previous locations.

I am a leader in Newcastle of fine, ethical and contemporary jewellery using recycled materials, salvaged stones and beads, found objects and vintage or antique elements to produce one off, contemporary jewellery toward sustainable adornment and art pieces.

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