The Talisman Project is an ongoing collaboration spanning artforms and media in a discussion of values and interconnectivity. Contemporary jeweller Mia Straka and object maker Roger Kelly conceived the collaboration with the aim of  broadening and challenging their individual practices and respective audiences. The project’s interactive nature facilitates a dialogue between audience and artists in an exchange of ideas around value, meaning, and function.

Mia uses jewellery as a medium to investigate personal issues and universal values. Vessel forms and weaving techniques are often incorporated in her practice, acknowledging traditional practice and investigating jewellery’s role as an object that carries meaning and value.

Roger designs and makes furniture and objects in response to humanistic values. Works are driven by the desire to explore the boundaries between craft art and object design. Roger presents unexpected uses of the handmade alongside potential for commercial application.

Finding shared aesthetic, technical and conceptual interests within their respective practices, Mia and Roger combined forces in 2011 to develop a series of large-scale works investigating the power of the object. By addressing issues of scale, functionality and the relationship between body and object, the work creates an interactive, sensory experience for the audience.

Installed as a whole for the first time at Objectspace (Auckland) in May 2014,the exhibition responds to three defined sites within Objectspace. The Windowspace, Main Gallery and Vault each have their own focus and the audience moves through these elements engaging with the works as part of a collective experience.

The Talisman Project has subsequently toured and re-configured  to exhibit at MTG Hawke’s Bay during Winter 2014 and Tauranga Art Gallery over Winter 2015. Previous site specific installations of the project have been shown at: Pah Homestead Auckland 2014, White Night Auckland 2013, Hui Hui  Napier, 2013 and Art Mile Auckland Arts Festival 2012