16th July - 27th Sept 2009

invitation to the exhibition

Invitation to the exhibition





About Us


Black rubber, pink elephants, precious jewels, ephemeral bubbles … what would you choose?

It’s lively, bold and beautiful. It’s playful and provocative. It’s also very personal. With over 10 years experience of choosing and displaying contemporary jewellery behind her, Kath Libbert’s latest exhibition is a personal statement about her current favourites and, having made her Choice’, she now invites you to make yours.

Starting on 16th July at the Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery at Salts Mill in Saltaire, Choice’ showcases eight jewellery artists, whose work ranges from classically inspired to technically amazing to playful and provocative. Discovering that the artists’ sources of inspiration include stuffed animals, soap bubbles, stones, root ginger and rubbish adds to the show’s intrigue. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to take part in The People’s Choice’by making their own selection, writing comments about it and having their photograph taken wearing or holding the piece. All the comments and photos will be posted on the Gallery walls up until a special event on the last day of the exhibition, the 27th September, when the ‘People’s Choice’ will be announced.

Someone once told Marta Mattsson, a young Swedish jeweller: “You make jewellery for children, not for adults”. Given that she draws on her childhood experiences of playing with stuffed animals and slugs, her fellow students in Tokyo were probably right when they came up with a new word to describe her work: ‘KimoKawaii’, which is in fact a combination of two words kawaii (cute) and kimoi (disgusting)!  Marta’s shiny little resin elephant heads in white or pink are joined together and draped with dangling chains and citrines to create pieces such as her Pink Elephants on Parade’ brooch. Necklaces featuring faceless, yet cute, creatures in either gold or blue, perching on their own little stones, are further testament to her statement that: “Nature is a great source of inspiration, but so is Pokemon…”

Prize-winning Sam Tho Duong hails from Vietnam but lives in Germany; he’s recently been awarded the prestigious Herbert Hofmann Prize 2009, the highest international art jewellery accolade and the Choice’ exhibition is his UK debut. Sam’s supremely innovative Ginger Collection of brooches and necklaces explore  his family’s roots through the shapes and forms of root ginger, combining intriguing textures (reminiscent of creatures from the sea bed) with wonderful colours and fanciful shapes to create exotic adornments.

Continuing the creative use of unexpected materials, Noemie Doge (from Geneva) describes her jewellery as “…objects brought back from a journey”. Her intricately furled, matt black necklaces are delicately crafted from the inner tubes of bicycle tyres, whilst an old bicycle chain and mother-of-pearl buttons are used in her truly quirky take on a pearl necklace. These, along with other necklaces that transform bottle tops and pieces from a football into desirable jewels, lead Noemi to comment: “Looking at my pieces, I get the impression that they have always existed … As if I didn’t do anything but find them.”

In complete contrast, is the ethereal quality of Sabine Lang's delightfully frothy, translucent 'Bubbles' collection. Working with transparent plastic, Sabine creates ‘jewellery made of air and light’. With the appearance of delicate, sparkling little soap bubbles, her neckpieces and earrings are by turns almost invisible, yet incredibly precious. For Dorothea Brill, the most important quality in her work is its liveliness – and for her it doesn’t matter whether it’s gold, silver, rubber, glass or aluminum. Her collections in Choice’ include fabulously fluid, elegant ‘propeller' rings’, seamlessly twisted from one piece of gold, silver or steel. Also on show are her black stainless steel rings, evocatively named ‘Roof’, ‘Terrace’ and ‘Sun’, with their intricately stitched panels made with fine 18 ct gold thread, alongside quirky perspex rings topped with cute little cushions of jewel-coloured embroidery. The starting point for Caro Weiss’ work was to be given no ‘choice’ but to work with wood, as part of her studies – a  material that she initially didn’t like but subsequently fell in love with! Having conquered wood, she moved on to horns – becoming an expert in boiling them and delighting in their variety of surfaces and colours. In her strikingly beautiful pieces, both wood and horn are combined with her favourite semi-precious gem stones, which she hand cuts.

Two of the eight jewellers featured in Choice’ are making a welcome return to the KLJ Gallery. Erik Urbschats precision-engineered Hedgehog rings with their myriad mobile gold and silver spines not only look amazing, they can give you a hand massage as well! The work of his fellow German, Stephanie Jendis, has proved so popular in the past that she’s making her third appearance at the Gallery – this time with a bold collection that includes chunky ‘Rock’ rings carved out of steel, the ‘Matterhorn’ ring with its ‘peaks’ of dark wood and pink gemstone, alongside her ‘Lake Geneva’ brooch with its matt turquoise surfaces contrasted with glinting amber-coloured glass.

Commenting on the exhibition, Kath Libbert explains: The ‘Choice’ exhibition has given me a completely free hand to simply choose the collections and one-off pieces from jewellers that I really admire right now, without any of the parameters of a ‘themed’ show. Having made my selection, I’m really keen to see which of the featured pieces will be the ‘choice’ of visitors to the exhibition – and which will emerge as the overall favourite.”

A Collectors' Choiceevent will take place in early September, when Marta Mattsson will talk about her choices as a jeweller, whilst a keen collector of contemporary jewellery will explain the choices they have made in building their collection and show their own choice of favourite pieces.  

‘Choice’ runs from 17th July – 27th September 2009 at Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Salts Mill, Saltaire, West Yorkshire. Everyone who makes their Choice’ during the exhibition will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher to spend in the Gallery. Salts Mill is open weekdays from 10am – 5.30pm and weekends 10am – 6pm. For further information call 01274 599790.