Redefine the culture of jewel ornaments
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF WEARING A NECKLACE MADE FROM BLOWN GLASS BUBBLES? OR SOME COLORFUL AUTUMN BLOOMS AS EARRINGS? PROBABLY NOT, UNLESS YOU POSSESS A HIGHLY ARTISTIC MIND, OR YOU HAVE VISITED THE BINI GALLERY.
Lorenza Bini, the owner, is an elegant and enterprising lady who has redefined the idea of jewellery in unexpected and innovative ways. One has only to spend a couple of minutes, surfing on the Internet or visiting her boutique in Collingwood, to discover the special and unique spot that Lorenza has been running for the last five years, her Bini Gallery: a place of simple beauty where jewellery is the key player.
Lorenza’s mission may be described as showing how the boundaries of jewellery can be pushed, while ensuring the individual pieces remain wearable and stylish.
Educated in the History of Art back in Italy, Lorenza is driven by a strong passion for her profession, in all its stages. In her Gallery, she gently guides her customers through the selection process, explaining her choice of pieces handcrafted by Australian and International artisans. “Quality, originality, design, research, creativity, wearability, attention to detail: these are the keywords, the common denominators that I look for in all my collections”, she stresses.
The use of unusual materials is another important aspect governing Lorenza’s selection process. Her collection includes works in glass, ceramic, vinyl, lace, silk, aluminum, fabric, laminated petals and flowers, wood and leather. As a result, Lorenza’s careful choice of jewellery can sometimes be both unconventional and unexpected.
“It is a delicate balance where only talented designers can use different materials to create, through high quality craftsmanship and sometimes ultra contemporary technologies, pieces which are as wearable as distinctive.”
But Lorenza’s interest also focuses on gold and silver: “Since a special encounter occurred three years ago in Melbourne with Alberta Vita, member of the Contemporary Jewellery School of Padua, I have been exposing a more precious collection. Later on I’ve started a partnership with Giampaolo Babetto, the most important and known Italian designer of contemporary jewellery and teacher at the School of Padua. Some of his pieces are exposed now at the Museums of Canberra and Perth.”
The Bini Gallery wants to be a dynamic space keen to introduce, every month, the works of a new designer, through a specific and open event “A moment I like to celebrate with a drink”, she says. “In addition to that, I am planning to organize one off events, thematic or solo exhibitions, where jewellery can meet other kinds of artwork although the focus would remain on it”, she reveals. “In Italy I used to work for an important photography gallery in Milan, Photology, so it was easy to start with a photography exposition. I think in that particular case the photos complemented the jewellery well.”
Besides the existence in Melbourne of an excellent school of contemporary jewellery, a special place in store is dedicated to Italian designers. “Elena Valenti, Veronica Guiduzzi, Chiara Scarpitti and the Sent sisters are some of the Italian artists with whom I’ve started this Australian adventure”, Lorenza says. “I really appreciate their collaboration.
“TO ME THE ITALIAN STYLE IS THE CAPABILITY AND THE KNOWLEDGE, ACHIEVED IN CENTURIES, TO CREATE THE PERFECT SYNTHESIS OF CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY ELEMENTS.”
As Lorenza explains, jewellery, even if it is a ‘niche’ sector, represents part of the Italian culture and this is the reason why she is so eager to support some of the little known designers that are unfortunately struggling back in Italy. “Sustaining independent, skilled jewellery makers matters to me and much more could be done to support them. It should be a must to preserve and keep alive our artisan know-how and traditions”, Lorenza says.
Although the jewellery exposed at the Gallery could be a bit unusual Down Under, Australians really seem to appreciate it. “They love our ability to combine wonderfully creative Italian classic and contemporary styles, like using a mix of textiles and ceramic, and of course our huge artistic craftsmanship.”
But what is the target at Bini Gallery? “I have a quite wide range of customers like women between 30 and 70 years old. Designers and architects are my best customers but also women looking for different, no commercial, classy, affordable, wearable jewellery, made with care in limited numbers”, she says and adds: “Considering that globalization homogenizes everything, I am interested in working with small brands or sole traders to support unique creativity and skills. That is another goal.”
You would easily think that this kind of jewellery is expensive but this is not necessarily true. As a matter of fact at Bini Gallery it is possible to find a wide range of prices, attractive to heterogeneous audiences, never forgetting the uniqueness of every single piece.
“The magic to create something beautiful by using simple and poor materials, a balanced, elegant and timeless design able to be playful and innovative” says Lorenza and her words echo like an invite to experience beauty in a different way.