Museum of Brisbane

Artist Profile: Concrete Jellyfish

 

The MoB Shop supports local artists and designers by featuring a range of Brisbane-based creatives. Based in Queensland, Concrete Jellyfish is a jewellery design studio that champions Australian nature and culture through vibrant wearable art whose earrings can be purchased at MoB Shop. Established by artisan and designer Rene Skelton, the studio is best known for its eye-catching resin earrings. We speak with Rene about the visual inspirations behind her stunning range of jewellery, sunglasses and clutch bags, as well as her creative collaborations.

 

Where did the name Concrete Jellyfish come from? And what made you decide to pursue a career in jewellery design?

We really wanted a name that reflected our love of resin and its strong and structured characteristics (Concrete) but also the magic of the shapes we use and our flora and fauna inspiration (Jellyfish). My then 4 year old daughter was eavesdropping and heard the two words pop up in conversation and the rest is history — and her favourite story to tell.  Jewellery design has been a natural progression for me. I’ve been crafting and making my own jewellery since I was young, I feel like it’s just in my blood.

 

Your resin designs take their visual cues from Australian flora, fauna and culture. Can you tell us where you usually get inspiration from?

Everywhere. I love to travel and exploring my surroundings. I don’t really take many photos, so I just like to soak it all in. I often simply use fond memories and experiences as a starting point so I can create something I feel connected to. 

 

What does a typical day in the studio look like?

It really depends on where we are in the making process. But generally, it’s messy and covered in colour, and we’re always using our hands. We are real on-the-go people and use every spare minute for artistic and product development. Never a minute to waste. 

 

You also collaborate with other creative people to turn their artworks into striking, high-colour jewellery designs. What was it like to team up with Aboriginal artist and designer Rachael Sarra to create the new range Sar.Ra x Concrete Jellyfish?

Rachael is an absolute dream to work with. We just feel so lucky to have found each other. I feel such a strong connection to her work through her stories, her aesthetic and the sentiment behind her process. We are both all about the powerful meaning that an object and artwork can hold, so to create something together is really special. 

 

What’s next for Concrete Jellyfish? 

We are always developing new things in the studio, but this year our aim is to have our wildly fantastical eyewear fully off the ground, and our resin clutch bags finally re-released. Both have been a huge journey, so we can’t wait to make them staples. And there’s about a million other things to do next, because we just can’t sit still. 

 

Images courtesy Rene Skelton.