Kate Alterio jeweller visual artist

My journey as an artist has taken a circuitous route, beginning with contemporary jewellery, moving into painting, photography and more recently to 3d sculptural works. I find it deeply satisfying to work with different media, pushing my personal and technical boundaries to express ideas in multiple ways. Each medium has a different quality: the precision of jewellery, the fluid nature of painting, and capturing and holding time with photography.

I am a great believer in responding to the natural flow of life and embracing opportunities as they arise. Several mentors have contributed to my development as an artist: Dorthe Kristensen in jewellery, Claire Beynon in painting, and Heinz Sobiecki, James Gilberd and John Williams in photography. Each experience was transformative, opening doors for me to explore and discover different aspects of myself.

Through creative expression, I connect the spiritual and physical worlds, bringing the formless into the world of form. I often explore diversity, human connectedness, physical, metaphysical and spiritual themes. My conceptual approach questions the relationships between ego and consciousness, duality and paradox, and liminality and transformative processes.

For me, the process of creating is meditative as it requires presence. Each medium calls for a unique approach. At times, different media and themes cross over or respond to each other in ways that inspire new directions or suggest solutions to technical challenges. The act of creation requires faith. It is rare to know everything when I start a new body of work. Often there is an unfolding journey that I must trust in and surrender to. My intention is to create a sense of stillness and potency in my work that invites viewers to feel a corresponding resonance within themselves.

My work is held in private and corporate collections in New Zealand and overseas.

Solo Exhibitions – 

2020     There Is A Place Beyond Time, Meet Me There, Gallery Thirty Three Wanaka
2018     Walk Between Worlds, Avid Gallery, Dunedin
2017     Walk Between Worlds, Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka
2016     At the Edge of Eternity, an Open Door, Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka
2013     Beyond Time & Space, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
2011     Somewhere In-between, Photospace Gallery, Wellington
2011     Conceal-Reveal, The Arthouse, Christchurch

Selected Exhibitions – Duos/Trios –

2016     Balance, with Claire Beynon, Kyla Cresswell and Di Conway, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2014     Listen for the Whisper, with Anna Muirhead, Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka
2013     In Dialogue, with Claire Beynon and Olav Nielsen, The Artist Room, Dunedin
2012     Words Fall Like Water, with Kate Fitzharris, Gallery 33, Wanaka
2007     Unity, with Hayley Inder, Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka

Collaborations – 

2011     Alchemy, with Claire Beynon, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2010     Alchemy, with Claire Beynon, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2009     Alchemy, with Claire Beynon, Gallery Thirty-Three, Wanaka

Group Exhibitions – 

2018      Birthday Anniversary Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2017      Harmonising Worlds, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2016     Lustre
, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2016     Christmas Show, Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka
2016     Christmas Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2016     Ring Show, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2016     12th Birthday Anniversary Show,The Artistroom, Dunedin
2015     Christmas Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2015     Earrings Show, A + E Gallery, Napier
2015     Ring Show, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2015     11th Birthday Anniversary Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2015     Matariki, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2015     Attachment, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2015     Imbued, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2015     Over the River and Through the Woods, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2015     National Jewellery Exhibition, Kina NZ Design + Artspace, New Plymouth
2014     Hark, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2014     Christmas show, Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka
2014     Christmas show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2014     Ring show, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2014     Brooch Show, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
2014     10th Birthday Anniversary Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2014     Aotearoa, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2014     National Jewellery Exhibition, Kina NZ Design + Artspace, New Plymouth
2013     X, Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka
2013     Christmas Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2013     Peek, Anderson Park Art Gallery, Invercargill
2013     Kindling, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2013     The Unbroken Circle, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
2013     Aotearoa, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2013     Ring Show, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2012     On Your Wings, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2012     On Your Wings, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
2012     On Your Wings, Gallery 33, Wanaka
2012     Christmas Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2012     Wishlist II, Form Gallery, Christchurch
2012     Twinkel Twinkle, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2012     Neckpiece, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2011     Seventh Birthday Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2011     Paperworks VII, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2010     Infinite Possibilities, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2010     Ring Master, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2010     Aotearoa, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2009     Chop Chop, Gallery Thirty-Three, Wanaka
2009     Wandering, Form Gallery, Christchurch
2009     Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, Royal Jewellery Studio, Auckland
2009     Christmas Show, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2009     Fifth Birthday Show, The Artistroom, Dunedin
2009     More than 1, Quadrant Gallery, Dunedin
2008     Neckwear, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2008     I See Red, Quoil Gallery, Wellington
2007     Ladies and Gentlemen, Form Gallery, Christchurch
2007     Friendly Fire, Vilders Gallery, Wellington
2006     Jouel, Emerge Gallery, Wellington
2006     Hinged, Tamarillo Gallery, Wellington
2005     Eight, Emerge Gallery, Wellington

Otago Daily Times, Art seen, 13 April 2016. Written by Laura Elliot.

“At the Edge of Eternity, An Open Door”, Kate Alterio (Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka) Kate Alterio’s “At the Edge of Eternity, An Open Door” is a journey into the realms of symbolism, codes, mystery and adventure.

Alterio draws on history, mythology, spirituality and philosophy, communicating myriad concepts in a single image, but often the exact meaning of a piece is elusive – there is that ‘‘open door” to all the things that lie beyond the plane of human experience and understanding.

One of the most intriguing pieces is Crucible (above). The symbols of alchemy, the ancient spiritual science practiced in Egypt, Europe and Asia, are placed in concentric circles around a central gold-plated philosopher’s stone, the sign of enlightenment, the so-called source of eternal life.

The symmetry and perfect placement of the work is almost hypnotic, drawing the eye toward the golden centre, as if the alchemical symbols are rotating around it.

The iconography of ancient Egypt is continued in Suspended Earth and Sky, in which Alterio pares down the world to its most abstracted, symbolic form, through two pyramids of bronze, silver, gold and topaz scarab beetles – an emblem of eternity, rebirth, and regeneration.

The Last Day is Also the First depicts an endless circle of the ouroboros, the image of a snake eating its own tail – the concept that there is no beginning or end, only a perpetual cycle.

The most emotive work, perhaps, is The One, The All, which unites symbols from religious and spiritual cultures across the world. Alterio’s own addition is a mother-of-pearl circle, to represent all the paths and traditions either not depicted or as yet unknown.

Homestyle Magazine, August 2008, written by Lucinda Diack.

After liaising with Kate for only a short time you are quickly immersed into her world of jewellery design and artistry; and her passion for the exquisite pieces she creates is hard to ignore. Crediting her parents for her creative mind, Kate is happy to reminisce about the amount of time she has spent “mesmerised by the interaction between flame and metal”, a driving force in the choice of her medium. “My Dad was a welder and growing up with him involved lots of garage andworkshop time. Mum has a passion for storytelling and is writer so I learnt from a young age how to visualise and use my imagination. It is no surprise that with my Dad’s practical and technical influence and my mother nurturing my creativity that I would gravitate to a craft such as jewellery.” Working with various metals and mediums, Kate’s latest collection has led her into a new forum of expression.

Driven by her desire to “understand what it is to be human and to explore the different aspects of human nature”, it is hardly surprising that it is these notions which underpin a number of her works. “The initial idea for my last collection (Unity) came to me while I was jogging around the (Wellington) Bays and was thinking about people and different stereotypes. I went home and drew 3 or 4 men and put them to the side. A month or so later I woke up at some ridiculous hour and couldn’t get back to sleep so I drew and wrote for hours until I had pretty much designed the whole collection!”

For the first time Kate has presented her work in framed groupings of silhouette human icons, rather than individual pieces of jewellery. Each one contemplates the idea that humans form “different relationships that help shape our awareness of self; contribute to our sense of belonging and enable us to feel part of something greater than ourselves”. Works like ‘It takes all types to make the world turn’ depict little human icons, each one different from the last, exploring notions of individuality and points of human difference. “I also suggest in this collection that our desire to define ourselves as individuals, as well as members of groups, underpins a universal human need”. This page left Kate in her studio with ‘it takes all types to make the world turn’ in the background. Right ‘unity’, mixed media (top) and ‘soul mates’, mixed media.

Opposite page Kate at work individualising characters for her next piece (top). selection of work from an earlier collection ‘one of these things is not like the others.’

Created from a master copy, each ‘man’ is cast from an original before being individualised through the soldering of handmade elements, crosses, halos, dimond settings and rolled textures. Once individual characteristics have been added, resin is poured over and all final detailing completed. “I had so much fun individualising each ‘man’ and seeing their characters develop.”

“All of my pieces reflect a stage of where I have been in my life. It is my hope that people can find something in my work to appreciate which may also resonate with them on a deeper level”. As Kate continues to create works which reflect the social world of today, and generate individual thought processes in each viewer, it is without a doubt that she will achieve this hope.