Often people want to describe me as ‘making more than just jewellery’ - they prefer to describe me as ‘an artist who makes small sculptures’. Jewellery making in their eyes is not an esteemed enough practice for an artist. I remind them whatever place jewellery has in the contemporary visual arts hierarchy that it has along history, perhaps the oldest. In fact the oldest examples we have of human material history confirm that it is jewellery that provides the earliest evidence of our capacity to think symbolically. Jewellery still has that capacity - that’s what keeps me interested – I’m an artist but I’m still a jeweller.

Born in Nelson 1953, Warwick’s skills are largely self-taught.

He took up jewellery-making in Perth, Australia, in 1972, following two years of travel. Returning to New Zealand in 1973, Warwick initially established a workshop in Nelson before moving to Auckland in 1975. After a brief stint as a manufacturing jeweller he first joined Lapis, a co-operative jewellery workshop, in 1977, and a year later became a partner in Auckland's now highly successful jewellery co-operative Fingers.In the 1980s as a prominent member of this group, he revolutionised contemporary jewellery practice in Aotearoa. This work was characterised by the use of natural materials such as bone, stone and shell.






Warwick regularly exhibits in New Zealand and Australia, as well as in Europe and the USA. His works are held, to name but a few of the institutions and none of the many individuals who cherish his works, in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Auckland Museum; the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt; the Pinokothek der Moderne, Munich;the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand, Wellington.

His international standing was recognised by the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation, based at theStedelijk Museum, who named him their 2002 Laureate, in the same year he received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award.

Warwick has been represented in survey and thematic exhibitions including: Given Jewellery by Warwick Freeman, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam (2004); and Ornament as Art, Smithsonian, Washington D.C (2007). Recent solo exhibitions include: Its Black or White, Starkwhite (2007) ; Shadowboard, Bowen Galleries, Wellington (2008). His survey exhibition, Given toured national galleries around the country in 2005-2007.

Warwick Freeman lives in Auckland.


Words

2012
An article in 'Indesign Magazine' on Warwick Freeman Profiling the life and work of creators around the globe

News

Video

2011
Warwick Freeman (Laureate) talks about how his works
address issues of identity.

Audio

2012
Jeweller Warwick Freeman (Laureate) speaks with Lynn Freeman on Arts on Sunday 26 February 2012, Radio New Zealand National
1953
Born Nelson, New Zealand
1972
  Took up jewellery-making in Perth, Australia
1973 
   Returned to NZ and established workshop in Nelson
1975
    Moved to Auckland
1977
    Joined Lapis co-operative jewellery workshop
1988
    Became a partner in jewellery co-operative Fingers
2002 
   Arts Foundation Laureate Award; Fecognised by Françoise van den Bosch Foundation, based at the Stedelijk Museum, who named him their 2002 Laureate.
2004
  Given Jewellery by Warwick Freeman, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam
2007
  Ornament as Art, Smithsonian, Washington D.C;Its Black or White, Starkwhite, Auckland
2008
Shadowboard, Bowen Galleries, Wellington
2005-2007
Given toured national galleries around NZ