Profile picture of Nellie Peoples

My practice is based in jewellery and small metals. At the core of my practice is the exploration of the connections made between objects and people; and how the object itself plays into those connections by representing on-going narratives. I design and make objects that highlight and reflect the conversation that surrounds an object. I am interested in the mark that the owner of an object contributes to a piece. A thread that runs through my body of work is that cherished objects, in particular jewellery, have the potential to act as a souvenir, an aides de mémoires, of a special event, beloved person, or a particular place. I strive to examine how an object has the potential to transform into a catalyst for the non-physical, ephemeral and intangible marks made upon the maker, the wearer and the viewer.
Through my current body of work I further explore the equally important mark the object makes upon the wear, and viewer alike. The souvenir line of enquiry continues to run through my work, with a particular focus on the register of place. There is a recognition that feelings for and about a specific place are deeply personal, however they evolve out of a collective experience that is unique to that place and does not occur in the same way anywhere else. We all gaze upon or can equally be standing in the same place sharing a moment together. The places that are the catalyst for this current body of work are specific, yet can be read universally. My hope is that by gazing at these objects the viewer is transported to a specific place, and are reminded that they are connected to the ground on which you stand and the world at large.

I am an Australian designer maker based in Brisbane, Australia. My practice focus in jewellery and small metals, along with a history in design and architecture, I bring these fields together in my practice. My educational background is interdisciplinary. Most recently I completed a graduate certificate in Liberal Arts Visual Anthropology at the Australian National University (ANU) Canberra, Australia (2014), whilst undertaking a graduate residency at the ANU, School of Art’s Gold and Silversmithing Workshop. I also completed a Bachelor of Design Arts with First Class Honours at ANU (2013), as well as a Bachelor of Architecture and Applied Sciences from the University of Canberra, Australia (2007).

The body, and human object interaction is the basis of my design thinking. I adhere to the notion that objects bear witness to the beholder’s life, as well as those who surround it. These objects become keepers of the beholder’s history. In particular with jewellery, as it is worn through trials and tribulations, excitement and celebration, all marked by the journey taken. I am of the belief that this is how the essence of the object is created. It holds its history on its sleeve. Every dent and scratch represents a happening or event. It is evidence of everyday action taken by the beholder. Over time, the collection of markings, however slight, forms the object’s history and the beholder’s narrative.

*the term “beholder” is used in relationship to the owner and wearer of an object.


Graduate Certificate in Liberal Arts in Visual Anthropology, Australian National  2014      University, Australia

Bachelor of Design Arts in Gold & Silversmithing Workshop First Class           2010 - 2013                           Honours, Australian National University, Australia

Bachelor of Applied Science in Architecture, University of Canberra, Australia 2005 - 2007 


Selected Professional Roles

Candidate for President to JMGQ Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group Australia QLD Chapter

Secretary to JMGQ Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group Australia QLD Chapter 2017 - current

Jewellery Instructor – Fio: Contemporary Jewellery & Design 2015 - 2017

Website Administrator – Australian National University, School of Art  2014 - 2015

Internship Pocket Studio with Alison Jackson, Queanbeyan, Australia 2014



Established Member, Bench: Contemporary Jewellery Studio

Craft ACT: Craft & Design Centre Membership

JMGQ Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group Australia Queensland Chapter

NAVA National Association for the Visual Artists

SNAG Society of North American Goldsmiths


Selected Grants Residencies & Awards

My Day-By Day Promotionship, Rome Italy 2018

Bench Studio ‘Impressions of the Valley’, Brisbane City Council. Brunswick Street Pod, Brisbane, Australia 2016

Finalist Vogue Living Alessi Deisgn Prize, Emerging Designer, Australia 2015

ArtStart Grant, Australia Coucil for the Arts, Australia 2015

15 Women to Watch 2015, HerCanberra, Australia 2015

Graduate in Residence at Gold & Silversmithing Workshop, Australian National University 2014

Design + Craft Outstanding Single Practitioner, Design Canberra Festival 2013

The Emerging Artist Support Scheme Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre National Exhibition Award, Australia 2013

The Emerging Artist Support Scheme Design Institute of Australia Professional Encouragement Award, Australia 2013

Finalist Australian Craft Awards 2013, Australia 2013

Finalist Spirit of Youth Award 365 Craft & Object Design, Australia 2013

Shortlisted for Talente 2013, the international competition for young professionals in Handwerk Sonderschau der 65. Internationalen Handwerkmesse Munich, Germany 2012

Finalist for AGIdeas NewStar Competition, Melbourne, Australia 2013 


Selected Exhibitions

Makers Mark Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, Canberra 2018

Triple Parade - 4th International Contemporary Jewelry Biennial, HOW Musuem, Shanghai, China 2018

Use POP Gallery, Brisbane 2018

White Christmas Bilk Gallery, Canberra (November) 2017

Impressions of Radiant Pavilion Radiant Pavilion, Melbourne 2017

FIVE 88 Gallery, Redcliffe 2017

Adorned Spaces Society of North American Goldsmiths, New Orleans 2017

Trace Wooloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane 2016

Radical Jewellery Makeover Webb Gallery, Brisbane 2016

Worn & Weathered Webb Gallery, Brisbane 2016

Peoples + Brand Bilk Gallery, Canberra 2016

What is it with earings? Bilk Gallery, Canberra 2016

TOMKINS+PEOPLES+WOLFE Design Canberra Festival, Canberra 2015

Oh me, oh my! Bilk Gallery, Canberra 2015

Place Red Gallery, Melbourne 2014

Fusion: the art of eating Museum of Democracy Australia, Canberra 2014

Un-Earthing Jewellery ACTivate, DESIGN Canberra, Canberra 2014

Bro.och Bilk Gallery, Canberra 2014

Emerging Contemporaries, Craft ACT: Craft & Design Centre, Canberra 2014

Graduating Exhibition ANU School of Art Australian National University, School of Art, Canberra 2013

Talente, the international competition for young professionals Handwerk Sonderschau der 65. Internationalen Handwerkmesse Munich, Germany 2013

Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.