Sally Marsland lives in Melbourne with her husband Stephen Bram and their sons Meier and Moss.
She studied at RMIT and the Munich Academy of Fine Art.
Some idea of her work and preoccupations can be found in the 2012 AJF interview: Sally Marsland: Everything depends on what we would rather do than change
The following text (still relevant despite the time lapse) gives an external perspective:
Sally Marsland Jewellery made with holes, 2006
Tweaking a minimalist mode with great insight, Sally Marsland’s collection of objects are made to physically adorn, and imaginatively enhance. Never seeking large gestures, her work is like a poem by e.e. cummings: everything appears in lower case. This is evident in the sometimes abject nature of the materials she employs, plus the canny use of found objects. A pair of hollow bones, or a discarded wooden object, sit alongside the more familiar materials of the contemporary jeweller. “If one has enough milk in the house, one doesn’t go to the grocery store”, observed the composer Stefan Wolpe about his own working habits. Likewise, what is immediately to hand can be transformed by Marsland’s exacting vision to arrive at an object with the right contour, density of colour, surface texture. At times, failed objects clutter her workroom, fruit of the wager with unpredictable materials and uncommon procedures. This wager, however, has nothing to do with the use of chance for its own sake. Marsland’s rigorous working means are reflected in the pithy descriptions of each object’s making: sets of procedures that lay bare the mystery of their creation. This is further aided by the formal groupings, or families, that organise her practice by shape, colour or use. Consistent is a use of rounded shapes – clustered (flat or hollowed out), co-joined, cross-sectioned, interlocked – mostly with that defining hole. A further crucial element is the structural use of colour, which delineates contours, demonstrates the insides and outsides of objects, orchestrates shape. Two former projects are crucial in relation to this: the reduction of colour to its essentials in Almost Black, 2001, and the juxtaposition of colour in the exuberant Flat Colour works, first shown in 2002. These characteristic working habits are manifest in Jewellery made with holes, and combine to produce a marvellous effect of heightened visibility. I become acutely aware of the effect of the vibrant holes that pierce Pendant – poured, cut and joined, although equally, I’m bewildered that what I believe to be a wooden object is actually a synthetic resin. And when Wolpe’s grocery store beckons, Marsland doesn’t bring back milk, but rather, gold. Gazing at herNecklace – drawn, cut and drilled and joined, I feel as if I’m looking at gold for the first time with all its story book allure. Picturing it outside its display case, and around a favoured neck, I can well believe that its maker once came from a place called Mount Beauty.
Michael Graf, Melbourne 2006