A local artist is taking her talent to the world.
A RENOWNED Western Australian jeweller and artist will launch her latest collection at a solo exhibition in London next month as part of a 2009 fellowship received from the state government.
Felicity Peters is an award-winning jewellery designer with pieces in public and private collections locally (such as the Holmes a Court collection) and internationally, stemming from her wide assortment of work consisting of exhibition pieces, commissions and small production ranges.
From February 4 to 27, Ms Peters will be the first Australian to exhibit at the prestigious Lesley Craze Gallery in Clerkenwell Green, London.
“I’m very proud, although I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but I’m proud to be setting goals for myself,” she says.
“I make the work because I love it and I get great pleasure from it.
“It’s great that people can work and achieve anything at any age.”
In February last year, Ms Peters was awarded one of only two Creative Development Fellowships by the Department of Culture and the Arts, which came with a $60,000 grant, allowing her to travel to San Francisco to study granulation (a technique rarely used in Australia) and showcase her work at a solo exhibition in Poland after an inspiring tour of the country, as well as next month’s show in London.
Ms Peters says recipients of the fellowship can come from any artistic discipline ranging from music, dance and theatre to all forms of art and design work, although a minimum 15 years of professional experience in their related discipline is required.
During an exhibition held at Ms Peters’ home this week, attended by the Culture and the Arts Minister John Day, as a prelude to the London show, Ms Peters raised an issue she is very passionate about – helping her fellow artists in terms of financial support.
“I want to lobby the federal government so the grants artists get, like the fellowship, and any other grants are not taxed,” she says.
“We (artists) must pay tax on it while sports fellowships are tax-free.”
Following the exhibition, Ms Peters says she was very pleased to hear that the minister had reacted positively to her ‘call to arms’ and would discuss the issue with the relevant state and federal bodies.
“I look at it like this is something really worthwhile,” she says.
“If I can contribute to other artists living well then that’s better than any of the art I leave behind.
“It’s better than the icing on the cake.”
Ms Peters says corporate and government commissions remain an important part of her work as they provide the opportunity to do things she wouldn’t normally do.
“It’s good to work with corporates and government as it means I’m extending myself and it gives me networking opportunities,” Ms Peters told Business Class.
In 2007 she was awarded a three-month Australia Council residency in Rome, and a $10,000 grant.
And Ms Peters already has work in two Polish galleries: the Gallery of Art in Legnica and the Gdansk Amber Museum.
“It’s not a job, I live it, and I’ll do it until the day I can’t use my fingers and my mind anymore,” she says.