NGV Triennial

David Bielander
Pick Your Nose: Pinocchio’s Reality



Pick Your Nose: Pinocchio’s Reality 2020 is a set of seven neckpieces each hand-carved in different species of timber. Worn as an appendage on the nose or around the neck, each one of the seven neckpieces references the fictional character created by the Italian author Carlo Collodi in the Adventures of Pinocchio 1883, a children’s morality tale. A wooden puppet that comes to life, Pinocchio’s nose grows when he lies. Bielander draws an analogy between the lying of Pinocchio to segments of contemporary society, who chose to deny the existence of climate change, species extinction, social inequality and racial prejudice. A jewellery work conceived in seven parts, the phallic form of the lightest neckpiece is carved from a piece of European maple sourced from a catholic confessional. The darkest neckpiece is carved from Kurrajong – also known as a Flame Tree – and is torched in recognition of the 2019–2020 bushfires that raged across Australia. Channeling the story of Pinocchio, the neckpieces bring into focus tales of power, politics and perception.

David Bielander is known for his intriguing limited editions and one-off jewellery works. He challenges our cultural awareness of issues and values through the artisanal reconstruction of objects. Bielander’s jewellery triggers a gradual unfolding of wonder, resulting in curiosity, surprise and delight. Exhibiting widely since 2002 in Europe, North America and Asia, Bielander’s work has appeared at the Museum of Modern Art Arnhem, the Netherlands, (2013); and Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne (2017); and, Museum of Art and Design in New York (2019). His work is held in both public and private collections, including Die Neue Sammlung, Munich; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Schmuckmuseum Reuchlinhaus, Pforzheim; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.