New Kids on the Block
18th Nov - 30th Jan 2011

Art Thread Blog

Arts Thread Blog, Nov 21st 2010
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Nov 21st, 2010
by Katie Dominy
Cool Construct, New Kids on the Block, Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery

Streetwise contemporary jewellery with attitude is the theme of the newly-opened exhibition at Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery at Salts Mill. The exhibition showcases the work of eight 2010 UK jewellery graduates chosen by curator Kath Libbert.

Myia Bonner graduated from Middlesex University with her Diamond Collection. The collection plays on the preconceptions of the idea of the diamond, with oversize gold-plated geometric pendants and giant perspex diamond rings – bold, brash and iconographic.

Bucks New University graduate Fiona West takes her inspiration from modern Japanese architecture and says: ‘I endeavour to combine precious metals with alternative materials such as concrete and wood, to create geometric pieces. I work mainly in sterling silver but use 9ct Red Gold to add warmth to my pieces. My work is made using a combination of hand-made and rapid-prototyped parts which are all finished by hand. I utilise CAD technology to produce exact geometric cubes which are Rapid Prototyped in precious metals or plastic.’

ARTS THREAD has already previewed the work of Eleanor Bolton in our Royal College of Art jewellery feature. Eleanor explains her Rope collection: ‘I have developed my own craft technique coiling and stitching cotton rope, which I write patterns for as you would for knitting or crochet. The movement, knotting and twisting of the coils reveals the striking stitching in contrasting colours, while their form as large-scale jewellery pieces, celebrates the softness and tactility of the material and creates a sense of presence.’

Swansea Metropolitan University graduate Janine Preece creates elegantly laser cut neckpieces in brightly coloured layered polyester that recall dramatic antique lace ruffs.

David Finlay’s final collection at Glasgow School of Art took inspiration from the city’s bold industrial landscape. Geometric pieces, interspersed with historic architectural detailing, are created in silver, gold, steel and precious stones.

Commenting on the exhibition, Kath says: ‘I always look for individuality and a fresh approach. Cool Construct showcases the work of a selection of very talented jewellers who have been inspired by architecture, the urban environment and geometric forms and who have responded innovatively.’

Heather McDermott is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and originates from the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland. The island has been a key influence in her work, she describes the coastal scenes being ‘a treasure trove of unique objects rejected from the urban environment and misshapen due to the battering of the sea.’ Her work combines synthetic stones and resins with wood and enamel to create cage-like structures mounted on geometric silver forms. Heather likes to use bright colours, with accents of florescent pink and lime green.

Charlotte Valkeniers, a graduate of Bucks New University, references the scientific structure of cells for her delicate and detailed collection entitled Glass Conception, made from hand-blown glass.

A graduate of the University of Hertfordshire, Debra Townend is inspired by the urban landscape, the East London of Spitalfields and Brick Lane with its walls full of graffiti, torn posters and peeling paint. Debra combines everyday materials with the precious to create pieces that reflect the colours and textures of the street.

Cool Construct – New Kids on the Block runs at the Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Salts Mill from November 18 2010 to January 30 2011.

Picture Caption: Diamond Collection, Myia Bonner; Tower Rings, Fiona West

Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Salts Mill, Saltaire, Bradford BD18 3LA. Tel/Fax 01274 599790. For directions see About Us
Open Monday - Friday 10am - 5.30pm. Weekends 10am - 6pm.