SIM RECALLS HER EARLIEST MEMORY OF WHAT SHE WANTED TO BE WHEN SHE GREW UP WAS AN INVENTOR.
There is a sense of calm and sophistication in Sim's work: the delicacy of the forms and the attention to detail created in her signature silver and black colour scheme. Her distinctive aesthetic embraces her love of oxidised sterling silver, along with the carefully considered additions of alternative materials, such as wood, graphite, porcelain, hematite and elements of plastic plants. She transforms the materials she works with into pieces that are creative, poetic and sensitive. Since 2013, Sim has expanded her object-based practise to include photography, which she gathers and archives into monochromatic collections of ordinary moments, captured day-to-day. These are carefully cropped, curated and archived, forming a rich source of research material to inform the development and creation of contemporary jewellery objects inspired by the often ubiquitous imagery.
Nostalgia and melancholy imbue Sim's work: it delves into nuances of the everyday and results in reflections that are conceptually engaging and beautiful. Through her work, Sim challenges her self-imposed paradigms by physically recording and recreating her daily experiences and environment, allowing her time to reflect on aspects of the human condition.
Sim has exhibited extensively in group exhibitions nationally and internationally including Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria; Museum Bellerive, Zurich; Galerie Marzee, Netherlands; Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem; Museum of Arts + Crafts, Itami; Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco; SoFA New York and Chicago with Charon Kransen Arts. She has presented seven solo shows in Australia and the USA and has work in the collections of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne, and Gallerie Marzee in the Netherlands.
Sim lives and works in Melbourne as a contemporary jeweller, craftsperson, and artist, while also working as Curator & Gallery Manager at Arts Project Australia and practitioner Board Member at Craft. Sim has over 15 years of experience as a maker and curator, and she finds her inspiration in nature and objects located in the everyday. She is currently represented by Pieces of Eight, Melbourne, and Charon Kransen Arts, New York.
2020 began with the Victorian bushfires. Sim's role as a craftsperson seemed far removed from what Melbournians were experiencing. What to make and why was forefront in her mind—after all, what was the point. In response, Sim set herself the challenge to reconnect with her immediate environment, the natural environment. Then Covid-19 hit, and her professional role at Arts Project Australia took over as the business operations completely flipped. Sim's craft practice took another turn and her focus shifted to her piece-a-day photography and toward updating this website.
2019 marked 20 years since Sim Luttin, Katrina Tyler and Linda Hughes began their journey into the contemporary jewellery world. The collections by each maker have evolved year-on-year and are unique, refined, and recognisably their own. In September 2019, the trio presented installations of jewellery and objects, across three spaces in the foyer of Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.
In 2018, Sim began a new decade-long photo and jewellery project Memory Palace, which signals the beginning of a new decade-long, piece a day project that will be divided into ten chapters, each marking one year of a life lived. These curated observations don't attempt to capture the perfect moment in any day; they are an effort to pause, connect and reflect—even for the briefest moment.
In 2017, Sim began a new collection of work titled Momentarily Here, which plots a unique course across time—small traces captured on her phone between night and day, home and work, travelling from one place to another. The 2017 piece-a-day project collection informed new work that Sim created for a two-person show with painter Kirrily Hammond titled Keepsake presented at Bundoora Homestead in August 2017 as part of Radiant Pavilion.
In 2014, Sim started a new piece-a-day project titled It's Always Darkest Just Before Dawn, which she received an Australia Council Mid-Career New Work Grant to develop. The solo exhibition was presented at Gray Street Workshop in March 2015 and Melbourne in September 2015 as part of Radiant Pavilion.
In 2013, Sim exhibited work in Australia as well as internationally, including a solo exhibition These Moments Existed at Grunwald Gallery, USA (self-curated); Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor at Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery (curated by Kirsten Fitzpatrick); I Do. ... Do I? at Fuller Gallery, Bloomington (curated by Dr Nicole Jacquard); and Unnatural Acts in New Zealand (curated by Lauren Simeoni and Melinda Young).
In 2012, Sim launched her new website. She had work tour in various national and international exhibitions, including Unnatural Acts, Craft, Melbourne; InterGALACTIC, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Florida; Ontketend (Jewellery Unleashed!), Museum Bellerive, Zurich; and SoFA Chicago (represented by Charon Kransen), Chicago and New York.
In 2011, Sim earned an Australia Council ArtStart Grant to develop her art practice, which included the development of a new website (Jan 2012-Sep 2014) and assistance to set up an external studio space in High St, Northcote (2011-2013). She then moved to a warehouse studio and started Studio 184 with a digital artist and printmaker in Christmas St, Fairfield (2013-2015).
In 2008, after presenting her solo exhibition The Temporary Nature of Things at Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University, Sim graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design under the tutelage of Professor Randy Long and Assistant Professor Dr Nicole Jacquard.
In May 2008, Sim moved back to Melbourne, Australia after receiving an Australia Council Emerging Artist Grant to develop new work. She exhibited the collection alongside her Masters' work in her solo exhibitions The Temporary Nature of Things at Pieces of Eight Gallery in Melbourne and Hint of a Memory at Metalab Gallery in Sydney, Australia.
In 2006, Sim received a full-scholarship to study her Masters of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design at the School of Fine Arts at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where she lived and worked for three years. During that time, Sim was awarded a Women’s Jewelry Association Student Scholarship, an Alma Eikerman Award for metalsmithing, as well as a Technical Assistant Scholarship at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, to assist internationally recognised contemporary Australian jeweller Julie Blyfield.
In 2005, Sim completed a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from the University of South Australia. The same year, she completed her Metals Associateship at JamFactory: Contemporary Craft and Design, after working for two years in a collaborative environment on studio, public art and commission projects as well as expanding her jewellery practice under the tutelage of Creative Director Sue Lorraine. She also undertook an Internship at Craft South.
In 2003 Sim graduated with a BFA with Distinction in Gold and Silversmithing from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Melbourne after four-and-a-half years of undergraduate study under Associate Professor Dr Robert Baines. Immediately after graduating, Sim moved to Adelaide in South Australia to undertake a Metals Associateship in the Career Development Scheme at JamFactory: Contemporary Craft and Design.