Blanche Tilden—ripple effect: a 25 year survey

Blanche Tilden, ‘Flow 03 necklace’ (detail) 2016, borosilicate glass, titanium, 20mm high x 260mm diameter. Image credit: Grant Hancock
Thursday 25 March 2021

Geelong Gallery’s 25 year survey of ANU School of Art & Design alumna and 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.

Geelong Gallery, VIC, from Saturday 8 May to Sunday 1 August 2021
UNSW Galleries, Sydney, NSW, from Friday 20 August to Saturday 13 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
Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, QLD, from Saturday 2 July to Sunday 4 September 2022
Canberra Museum & Gallery, ACT, from Saturday 12 November 2022 to Sunday 19 February 2023


About Blanche Tilden

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.

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


Visit Blanche Tilden’s exhibition online.

Visit Blanche Tilden’s website.

Updated:  19 March 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications