Redefining contemporary jewellery from Nelson to the world

Redefining contemporary jewellery from Nelson to the world

Jun 08, 2024Tracy Allan
Eva Kerer, a visionary artist based in Nelson, is gaining national recognition for her innovative approach to contemporary jewellery. Her ability to push the boundaries of materials and design has earned her a prominent spot among New Zealand's top creatives.
"Participating in 'Object Maker' is a significant step beyond the Nelson bubble. It provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with like-minded creatives," Eva shares.
Eva’s work is not only celebrated nationally but also internationally. Later this year, she will feature in a group 'Object Maker' exhibition in Auckland alongside ten other artists. This exhibition is part of a broader mentorship program that offers one-on-one guidance from established artists. 
"As an artist, being part of this program will push me outside of my comfort zone," she explains.
Eva's artistic journey has taken her from her birth country Germany to Italy, where she lived for several years, before settling in New Zealand in 2007. Recently, her custom-made piece was showcased in an exhibition in Brussels, Belgium.
"Nelson has huge potential as a creative city with a strong foundation and so much room to grow. There are so many fantastic supporters of the arts here!" Eva says enthusiastically.
Eva is one of 10 recipients of the Object Maker Aoteoroa Fellowship for contemporary object makers. This prestigious fellowship is run by Jude Chalmers and Michelle Morland who formed Seedpod Studio to support the contemporary jewellery community. 
Balancing her artistic pursuits with motherhood and part-time study, Eva has mastered the art of time management. "Being a mature student, I had no time to spare. Reflecting on it now, it has made me much more focused," she says.
Her path to contemporary jewellery was serendipitous, sparked by a meeting with Kay van Dyk. This steered her towards her current passion and profession.
Eva's practice combines traditional metalsmithing with experimental techniques and found objects. "I really enjoy working with found objects because they have a history and a narrative which is fascinating for the viewer," she says. Influenced by her father, a photographer and graphic designer, Eva's work challenges conventional perceptions of value and craftsmanship.
Through her jewellery, Eva explores themes such as interpersonal connections, identity, and consumerism. She hopes to become an established contemporary jeweller in New Zealand, pushing creative boundaries and engaging with new materials and ideas.
In addition to metalsmithing and jewellery, Eva also works with textiles and ceramics. These mediums influence her jewellery. "Project Roadkill,' is the perfect example of her ability to blend different artistic disciplines into a unified work of art.
Eva has an exciting year ahead. Her work will be displayed at the Suter Gallery from 19 August to 8 September, alongside pieces from Esme Upton. All are welcome to the opening on 21 August. This follows her recent success, including the Jens Hansen Award for Excellence and the Suter Art Society Award of Distinction.
In August, her creations will also be featured in the Palm Boutique window in a collaborative project with another artist, utilising Sue Scobie's broken ceramics as part of Clay Week.
Eva Kerer's journey is a testament to her talent, determination, and the vibrant creative community in Nelson. As she continues to gain recognition, her work not only enriches the local art scene but also contributes to the broader landscape of contemporary jewellery.
Eva's commercial line (silver and pearls) is stocked by the Suter, Robyn Reynolds and Church House Gallery in Motueka.