Photos of Jade Oakley's Grove I for Sydney's Bridge Room Restaurant

Grove I was a wall piece commissioned for The Bridge Room restaurant in Sydney CBD. This is a changeable, seasonal artwork that can transform itself quickly according to mood or menu.

The ‘frame’ of the artwork is the silhouette of a tree branch made from blackened stainless steel. The branch is pierced by 50 small holes, from which a multitude of coloured mobiles can be hung. Changing the artwork over should be as easy as decorating a Christmas tree.

I am hoping to be commissioned to create a few different interpretations of the artwork, or different sets of mobiles. New seasons perhaps?


Photos of Jade Oakley's Lily Pond

Lily Pond was a mobile made in memory of Emma Lawrence. The two mobiles are installed above the pool at Southern Support School in Hobart, Tasmania, where Emma attended school. The artworks are peaceful and whimsical, intended to spark the student’s imagination and enhance their much loved time in the pool.

Looking at these pictures I think I really should have been on maternity leave when I was working on this sculpture!


Photos of Jade Oakley's Autumn

Autumn was commissioned for a client in the Cotswolds in the United Kingdom in 2013. The client envisaged a cascade of autumn leaves in her stairwell, and this mobile was designed in response to that vision. The colours are inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s work. Some of the leaves are the shape of oak leaves, to echo the oak tree that can be seen through the window. The mobile is lo long (2800mm) that I needed to borrow studio space to put it together.


Photos of Jade Oakley's Bottlebrush

Bottlebrush is a collection of four copper and bronze mobiles balanced together as one large mobile. Each ‘leaf’ of the mobile was woven with recycled copper wire. Hour after hour the weaving became so automatic that I could do it with only the occasional glance at the work my hands were doing, just as some people knit. I enjoyed contemplating the movement of the mobiles and their intricately woven leaves. As I worked I thought about the process of ripening and decomposition, of new life followed by decay. The four mobiles tell the story of a seed pod as it emerges as a tight bud and slowly opens, then at its most beautiful and flamboyant it begins to decay. I also thought about how the mobiles will look in the client’s home, how the breeze will travel up Gypsy Creek to turn them, how birds will land on them, and that spiders will complete the weaving in the mobile ‘leaves’ that I have started.


Photos of Jade Oakley's Arkaroola, commissioned by Otto Restaurant

Arkaroola is a mobile commissioned for Otto Ristorante on Woolloomooloo Wharf in Sydney. The client suggested that I use metallic paint for this mobile, and when I tested the paints I was taken with how well each metallic colour blended with earth colours. These metals are really just refined earth.

Arkaroola in South Australia is a place where most of these metals are mined, and where all these earth colours exist in spectacular stony mountains. This mobile is inspired by Arkaroola.

I have used perforated or patterned papers to give the mobile a lighter appearance, and to imitate the texture of stone.

Arkaroola has 7 large cross pieces that were made at Crawford’s Castings.


Photos of Jade Oakley's Aquifer in Brazil

Through the wonders of the internet I have been commissioned by a client in Brazil!

An aquifer is a body of water hidden beneath the earth. Deep underground, silent rivers flow and lakes pool unseen. This is the groundwater, the lifeblood of our lands. I have always found the idea of Aquifers poetic and beautiful.

I have called this mobile Aquifer because it combines the earth (large, ochre coloured elements that drift and turn slowly) with flowing water (smaller blue elements with fluid movement).


Photos of Jade Oakley's Wintergarden II installed at the Lee Jeans store in Chapel Street

I was thrilled to receive a second commission from Lee Jeans, this time for a new store on Chapel Street in Melbourne. As before, the mobiles are made from stainless steel wire and perforated aluminium.


Photos of Jade Oakley's Wintergarden I in progress

Wintergarden I was commissioned for a new Lee Jeans store in the Wintergarden Shopping Centre in Brisbane. I made 14 mobiles from perforated aluminium which was laser cut, powder-coated and spray painted. It was hard work because I was very pregnant at the time! The mobiles were blue, black and grey, and were designed to match the industrial aesthetic of the store.

July 2012

Screenshot of Kreel Interview with Artist Jade Oakley

Kreel Interview with Artist Jade Oakley

"I have been captivated by Jade Oakley’s work since 2009, when on a weekend wandering round Paddington I was lucky enough to discover her solo exhibition; Estuary, at Australian Galleries on Glenmore Road. The collection of elaborate and magical mobiles, made from stainless steel and paper were inspired by the life and colour of an estuary and had a lasting effect on me.

Since then, Jade’s profile has continued to rocket, with successful Australian Galleries group and solo exhibitions and high profile commissions; the most recent being the incredible Sky Garden, in the Atrium of the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Jade was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule and talk to me about her work.

Dawn: After achieving top of State in Visual Arts at high school, you went on to gain a first class Fine Arts Honours degree in sculpture. How did your love of sculpture, and more recently mobiles come about and was your love of art nurtured from an early stage? Have you found your favoured medium in mobiles, or do you enjoy the change that your other artwork such as painting brings?

Jade: I was very lucky to be brought up in a very creative environment. My mother is an artist as well as an art teacher and my father is a mechanical engineer. My art practice is very much the product of my parents talents. Since birth my twin sister and I have been surrounded by Dad’s inventions, which included a mechanical rocking cradle, a succession of billy carts complete with full suspension, cubby houses, flying foxes and any number of inventions that swung and turned to keep us entertained. Maybe this is where my lifelong fascination with movement originates from. My mother instilled in me a love of art, and her teaching skills were always tuned to bring out the best in me. Ours was a creative childhood, and I was always making, exploring and playing in the bush.

I feel that I have found my medium in mobiles. Even before I realised I was doing it I was making mobiles, as my early installations were also suspended artworks that moved in response to their environment. I have toyed with changing the materials that I make my mobiles from, but keep returning to paper and stainless steel wire – I feel that paper and wire are my language. I will go back to painting in the future, but perhaps more as a support or starting point for my mobiles..."

The complete interview can be found at Kreel Design.

November 2011

Screenshot of artsHub article Jade Oakley's winged wonders

artsHub article "Jade Oakley's winged wonders"

"Out the back of an old warehouse in Sydney's Inner-West a few months ago, 168 aluminium winged creatures and organic leaf-like forms were sprawled over a blue tarpaulin.

Jade Oakley carefully scooped several up and, one by one, hung them from a finely balanced steel fulcrum. In the breeze, the figures started to come alive, shifting mercurially, their bright colours flashing in the sunshine and splashing down on to the concrete below. She looks relieved as she’s been working pretty relentlessly on them since May last year.

The creatures now float above the forecourt of Melbourne’s New Royal Children’s Hospital. The mobile artwork, a commission for the hospital, is by far her biggest and most high-profile job to date. It is also her riskiest.

For starters, the hospital wasn't convinced that the relatively young (36 year old), unknown Sydney artist was up to the task of creating their new centrepiece..."

The complete article can be found at artsHub.

November 2011

Invitation to the opening night of Up Lands by Jade Oakley at Australian Galleries

Up Lands Exhibition

My most recent mobiles are inspired by paintings in my diaries. I have taken the colours and textures of these remembered landscapes and re-painted them onto hand made Japanese paper, then cut them up and assembled the paintings into mobiles. It feels like taking an armful of the landscape and tossing it into the air, so I called the exhibition ‘Up Lands’.

Up Lands is to be exhibited in Australian Galleries at Glenmore Road in Sydney from 1st – 18th December 2011.

Click here to browse more photos of Up Lands.

Montage of photos of Up Lands mobiles

October 2011

Photos of Jade Oakley's Sky Garden installation installed in the Royal Children's Hospital

‘Sky Garden’ in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne is by far my biggest and most high-profile commission. The cross pieces and fittings are made from stainless steel, and the elements are perforated aluminium, which is laser cut, powder-coated and spray painted.

The principal audience for the work is children. My inspiration for the winged creatures in the mobiles came from children playing in nature. They are drawn from photos I took of my niece leaping on the beach and babies swimming under water. I have used bright colours because children respond to colour, recognising anything brightly coloured as specially for them. Paint effects like splashes and drips, watercolour effects give the work a child-like quality.

Click here to browse more photos of Sky Garden.

October 2011

Photos of the making of Jade Oakley's Sky Garden installation for the Royal Childrens Hospital

I have recently completed a commission for five large mobiles, each 4.5m high x 9.5m wide for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. The Artist Brief called for a suspended artwork that was ‘organic’ and ‘whimsical’. When I read the brief for this project I felt like it had been written for me.

From the artist brief;
‘The design of the new hospital is based upon a theme of nature… The artwork will create a sense of wonder, peacefulness and reflection and also has the potential to be playful and whimsical.’

The elements on the mobiles are ‘angels’ and ‘leaves’. The ‘angels’ or as I think of them, “non denominational winged creatures” are based on silhouettes of children jumping and leaping, to which I have simply added wings.

Click here to browse more photos from the Making of Sky Garden.

Photos of the making of Jade Oakley's Sky Garden installation for the Royal Children's Hospital

August 2011

Excerpts about Jade Oakley's current work from the Artscape Newsletter #3

Excerpts from the Artscape Newsletter #3

Art in Transit — Sydney's North West Rail Link
ARTSCAPE: The Nature of the Sculpture's (ARTSCAPE) has been appointed art consultants on the NSW Dept of Transportbs multi billion dollar new rail link from Epping to Parramatta. Supporting a multi-disciplinary team lead by Cox Richardson, AECOM and UK based architects Grimshaw, ARTSCAPE's role is to develop a public art strategy and plan which delivers exciting public travel experiences.

Working closely with government and the design team, we will be formulating integrated art concepts in response to engineering, architecture and urban design opportunities. The functional requirements of rail systems such as station identity, wayfinding, safety and security will become the canvas for attractive underground transit environments.

ARTSCAPE will be ensuring that the artwork concepts make a targeted contribution to the amenity and utility of the NWRL and enhance the overall passenger experience. Part of our role will be to show how public art can problem solve and guide aesthetic and experiential outcomes in ways that architecture simply cannot deliver.

Jade Oakley kinetic transit art concept, 2010 pictured left.

Galaxy Macau Casino & Resort, CHINA

ARTSCAPE was recently commissioned for a sixth artwork in the Galaxy Macau Casino & Resort in Cotai City. The enormous 55ha complex was officially opened on 15 May 2011 with ARTSCAPE deliverering several of the key artworks. Ember II (pictured at left) was commissioned for Galaxy's Festiva restaurant and once again demonstrates artist Jade Oakley's capacity for large scale work.

Jade's beautiful maquettes — artworks in themselves, made of handmade paper and fine gauge wire are currently being scaled up into massive engineered installations tens of metres in length for a new public building in Melbourne.

July 2011

Montage of photographs of Jade Oakley's Ember II commission in progress.

"I have just finished making Ember II for the Galaxy Casino in Macau. The mobile is made from stainless steel and hand dyed silk. I dyed the silk red, from rich plumb through cadmium red and to soft yellows with just a blush of pink. The steel was heated to red hot then bent into the links and curves of the mobile. After polishing the mobile 'leaves' were hooked into place, the links closed with some gentle persuasion from a hammer. I made "Ember II" at Crawford's Casting with the ever patient assistance of Matt Crawford."

Montage of photographs of Jade Oakley's Ember II commission in progress.

October 2010

Screenshot of Jade Oakley Studio Visit feature on indie art & design

Artisans in the Gardens
October 16-24, 2010

Friends of The Gardens presents the 10th Artisans in the Gardens.
A vibrant, eclectic exhibition of objects from Australia's finest contemporary and traditional artisans.

Lion Gate Lodge, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
16-24 October 2010, 10am to 4pm daily.
Entry is free and all works are for sale.
For information contact Friends of The Gardens on 02 9231 8182 or visit

"The 10th Artisans in the Gardens exhibition features the extraordinary work of thirty of Australia's finest artisans"
Assemblage: Matt Bisaro
Ceramics: Roslyn Auld, Liz Hardy, Louisa Hart, Ella Szpindler, Kerry Punton
Glass: Benjamin Edols & Kathy Elliott
Jewellery: Gillian Moir, Traudl Troska, Dominique Brammer
Mobiles: Jade Oakley
Prints & Handmade Books: Barbara Davidson
Sculpture: Bronwyn Berman, Darren Borg & Claire Carson, Glenn Doyle, Lucy McEachern, Garth Lena, Heidi McGeoch, Sheila Myers, Denese Oates, Francesco Petrolo, Al Phemister, Sosi Stevensen, Belinda Villani, Will Wilson
Sandstone and Stone: Chris Bennetts, Nick Gazzard
Textiles: Gillian Brooks

Friends of The Gardens invites you to join Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales and the artisans for an exclusive preview Opening Party, 6pm Friday 15 October. Tickets from Friends of The Gardens $45 or $35 members. To book, phone 02 9231 8182.

August 2010

Montage of photographs of Jade Oakley's Goldengrove commission in progress.

"I have been working on a commission for a casino. The mobile will be installed above a water feature in a lounge area. I've used hand dyed silk for the 'leaves', after spending two days with Julie Edwards, a silk artist I can't announce where the mobile is going until the project is completed. The mobile is to be called Goldengrove".

Montage of photographs of Jade Oakley's Goldengrove commission in progress.

June 2010

artsCape newsletter header

Winner of artsCape 2005, Living in Sunrise Station by Rick Reynolds
Winner artsCape 2005, Living in Sunrise Station by Rick Reynolds

artsCape Biennial Newsletter
Issue 1, Friday 11 June 2010

Countdown to opening...
Exhibition dates: June 26th — July 11th

Join us and our 75 artists from around Australia (and beyond), converging on the Bay for the official opening and awards presentation — Beach Hotel Sunday June 27 @ 2pm. Jazz-soul musician Ross Nobel will join our judges...

Then take the 1km parkland stroll bejewelled with 68 sculptures that will surprise and delight. Our formal reception for artists, sponsors, ambassadors and media (invitation only) will be held at the Byron Beach Cafe at 5pm.

Exclusive Travel Package:
artsCape Biennial 2010, Byron Bay NSW

Stay 6 nights in Sirens, a cosy 3 bedroom beach house at Wategos Beach (22—27 June) & enjoy a private tour of Byron's own outdoor sculpture exhibition, followed by lunch at the Byron Beach Café.

Includes tickets to artsCape's VIP event at 5pm on Sunday 27 June. $2000 all inclusive (once only) package. Call 02 6680 7904 or email artsCape.


Winner of artsCape 2005, Living in Sunrise Station by Rick Reynolds
Flyer for fragile at Art Piece Gallery




Water Over Rocks II by Jade Oakley
Water over Rocks II by Jade Oakley

fragile at art piece gallery

As with artsCape Biennial, concern for the environment is central to the work of all the artists in fragile. In subject matter and through the use of natural and recycled materials artists, bear witness to environmental degradation and pay homage to the simplicity and intrinsic beauty in the palette of the natural world — the tree, the leaf, shell and flotsam.

Lousie Saxton's tree assembled from 1000 individual pieces of reclaimed lace (pictured) is an interpretation of the Tree of Life and a metaphor for the vulnerability of endangered species including the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and the Koala. Other contributing artists include Christine Willcocks, Lae Oldmeadow, Linelle Steptoe, Wanda Bennett (QLD), Aly de Groot (NT) and others. fragile opens 6pm Friday July 2, exhibition runs until 31 July

art piece gallery
70 burringbah street — mullumbimby
02 6684 3446 / 0422 636 839

Email art piece gallery
Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm

Featured Artist: Jade Oakley

After a highly successful exhibition at Australian Galleries in Melbourne, Sydney artist Jade Oakley is preparing three installations for artsCape Biennial. A maker of mobiles a la the great Alexander Calder, Jade's intimate and delicate kinetic sculptures are mouth watering joyous constructions. Following artsCape, she will be undertaking a major commission for the new Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital where her small domestic scale sculptures will be massively scaled up for the huge atrium 'main street' of this world class state of the art facility.

artsCape Awards

artsCape Biennial Sculpture Prize
Ken Johnson's "Art & Nature" & $2000 cash

The Art Piece Gallery Prize
The winning artist receives $1000 cash & an invitation to exhibit

The Linnaeus Sculpture Prize
The winning artist receives two weeks holiday at the luxurious Linneaus Estate beach house located in Broken Head.

The artsCape Biennial Local Artist Prize
The winning artist receives a $500 dining package at the Balcony Bar & Restaurant, Byron Bay, initiated by the GCAT dune care group.

The Beach Hotel People's Choice Award
The winning artist receives 5 nights accommodation at The Beach Hotel Resort.

May 2010

Montage of photographs from the opening night of Headland by Jade Oakley

'Jade's exhibition invites the viewer to embark on a magical, mystery tour throughout the gallery, as each delicately arranged organic form creates a swirling shadowy play that is both captivating and awe inspiring. Timeless creations move deftly through the air, dancing to a quiet rhythm that generates peacefulness and contentedness in the uplifting journey of inquiry..' Caroline Field, Australian Galleries

Montage of photographs from the opening night of Headland by Jade Oakley

May 2010

Screenshot of ArtWorkshops Australia - Current Workshops

Drawings in the Air

May 29 - 30, 2010
Cost: $390.00
Level: All levels.
Book Now at ArtWorkshops Australia

'Drawings in the air' is a sculptural mobile workshop inspired by beautiful objects from nature such as beach pebbles, feathers, seed pods, shells and leaves. Students will explore these objects through drawing, painting and collage, and will then learn to translate these drawings into a mobile, to make 'Drawings in the air'. Jade Oakley's filigree works manage to walk that difficult line between painting and sculpture. The color effects are stunning - a mobile may appear to have been dipped in ink, or reveal a wash of color like brackish water over white sands.

Jade has been Artist in Residence at Bundanon Artist's Centre, Noosa Regional Gallery and Vermont Studio Centre in Vermont, USA and most recently, Artist in Residence at Bondi Public School. Commissions include 'Canopy', a large outdoor mobile for Concord Centre for Mental Health in 2008, 'Angel Trees' mobiles for Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, 2008.

She is represented by the Australian Galleries.

May 2010

Screenshot of ABC Arts Blog feature on Jade Oakley - Oakley makes headway with Headland

Oakley makes headway with Headland
May 13, 2010

"Jade Oakley is unusual for a sculptor. Where others may use a chisel or an oxyacetylene torch her tools of trade are her hands and a pair of pliers..."

Visit the ABC Arts blog to read more.

May 2010

Jade Oakley Headland exhibition at Australian Galleries Collingwood evite

Headland Exhibition

Jade will be exhibiting a new collection of mobiles at Australian Galleries from 13 May 2010 - 6 June 2010. View the Headland mobiles here.

"There is a place in my mind's eye where a house is perched on a cliff, as lightly as an insect. Where I have walked barefoot along a ridge top over sandstone and fallen banksia leaves, looking down through the angophora forest to see glimpses of the sea below. Through the forest and out into the heathland, thick with birds and bottle brush and whispering grasses tossed by the wind. Beyond that are the cliffs where waves break and pool over the rocks – and past that is the great sighing sea. This is my dream place – where I flee to in my mind to escape my noisy urban home – this is the Headland."
Jade Oakley, April 2010

Sky from the Headland Exhibition by Jade Oakley

Australian Galleries is delighted to present this exhibition of exquisite sculptural installations by the Sydney-based artist Jade Oakley. Headland is an exhibition of finely articulated kinetic wire mobiles and free-standing sculpture that has been inspired by the memory of a place. The works depicting organic, web-like wire structures in gentle gradations of colour and form are designed for both interior and exterior spaces.

The Headland exhibition will open on Thursday 13th May 2010, from 6pm – 8pm.

Australian Galleries Smith Street
Address: 50 Smith Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday 12pm – 5pm

November 2009

ArtWorkshops flyer


Workshop Description
‘Drawings in the air’ is a sculptural mobile workshop inspired by beautiful objects from nature such as beach pebbles, feathers, seed pods, shells and leaves. Students will explore these objects through drawing, painting and collage, and will then learn to translate these drawings into a mobile, to make ‘Drawings in the air’.
Date – 10/11th of April 2010

Click here to view the ArtWorkshops full flyer in PDF format.

October 2009

Screenshot of Australian Galleries exhibition A Sculpture By

A sculpture by...
October 6 - 24, 2009
Australian Galleries

View Jade's sculptures from the "A Sculpture by..." exhibition here.

Visit Australian Galleries to read more.

Mid 2009

Article in Sunday Life featuring Jade Oakley mobile

Sunday Life feature

"Mobile hanging from ceiling... We love Jade Oakley's artwork. She creates such beautiful and whimsical pieces in wire. The piece on the back wall in a white frame is by Jade as well."

Colour, fun and whimsy unite the well-loved home of author and designer Vanessa Holle and her husband, Christian Holle, a tax consultant and their three boys, Jonas, 10, Finn 9, and Clay, 7.

After buying their four-bedroom semi in Sydney’s Bondi Beach in 1998, the couple embarked on renovations, gutting the entire second storey, adding a third and extending the ground floor seven years ago. "It was a typical semi with a dark hall and rooms off to the side," says Holle. "We wanted to create a light, bright, open area facing north." Vanessa's sister Camilla Block, from Durbach Block Architects, designed the renovation and specified Dulux Berkshire White for the walls.

Holle, who works form home, feels she has created the ideal environment for meetings and lunch breaks, and the influence of her own creative eye is obvious. "I love bright colours. I just love stripes and I love all things crocheted and handmade," she says. "You can tell, can't you?"

June 2009

Jade Oakley Estuary exhibition at Australian Galleries Glenmore Road evite

Estuary Exhibition

Jade will be exhibiting a new collection of mobiles at Australian Galleries from 18 June 2009 - 11 July 2009.

View the Estuary mobiles here.

June 2009

Montage of photographs from the opening night of Estuary by Jade Oakley

the tide comes in...

'Jade Oakley's sculptural mobiles transformed Australian Galleries into a mesmerizing setting for the evening'

'Jade's exhibition opening at Australian Galleries animated the space with her works dancing between guests and twirling like the conversations around them.' Amy Rowe, Australian Galleries

Montage of photographs from the opening night of Estuary by Jade Oakley

June 2009

Screenshot of Living Edge le blog feature on Jade Oakley Exhibition

Jade Oakley Exhibition
June 22, 2009

"Some time ago we featured the mobile Jade Oakley created for our Alexandria showroom, inspired by the work of Charles and Ray Eames... Jade has recently got her new website up and running, so you can now view more of her stunning portfolio online. She also has a solo exhibition Estuary currently showing at the Australian Galleries in Sydney until July 11th. Below are two of the pieces featured in the exhibition..."

Visit Living Edge's le blog to read more.

June 2009

Screenshot of Jade Oakley Studio Visit feature on indie art & design

Studio Visit: Jade Oakley
June 3, 2009

"Last week, we were invited to the studio space of Sydney artist Jade Oakley. We chatted about her work and took loads of photos as she prepared for her upcoming exhibition "Estuary" which will open on the 18th of June at Australian Galleries Glenmore Road in Paddington (Sydney)..."

Visit indie art & design to read more.

October 2008

Screenshot of Living Edge le blog feature on Eames Wire Mobiles by Jade Oakley

Eames Wire Mobiles by Jade Oakley
October 14, 2008

"Jade Oakley is an Australian artist who works in the rather unusual medium of wire mobiles. Living Edge commissioned Jade to create two mobiles for our Alexandria showroom, both inspired by Charles and Ray Eames. Jade had complete freedom to come up with her own response to the brief and created the two wire mobiles below..."

Visit Living Edge's le blog to read more.

April 2008

Preview image of Townsend Art Consulting profile on Jade Oakley

For the love of Sculpture
Townsend Art Consulting e-newsletter
April 1, 2008

...Young Australian sculptor, Jade Oakley is the artist profiled this month. Her work was introduced to me by Sculptor Michael Snape and I was instantly drawn to it's jewellery-like qualities and colour palette.

Jade's sculptures (she also paints) have proved to be a great success - her show at Mori Gallery in Sydney last year was a near sell out and a number or her works were commissioned including a work for the Sydney Children's Hospital..."

Click here to view a pdf version of the Townsend Art Consulting e-newsletter April 2008.