20th July - 2nd October 2005
'Follow Me'
An exhibition following the progression and influences
in the work of leading jewellers and metal smiths.

Findings, December 2005 review of 'Follow Me'

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FINDINGS - The Association for Contemporary Jewellery's quarterly newsletter.
December 2005

Follow Me

Kath Libbert Jewellery, Salts Mill, Saltaire. 20 July-2 October
Precious few exhibitions concentrate on process. Follow Me focuses on the trajectory of seven jewellers and metal smiths from inspiration to finished piece. A collaborative venture between Kath and sound producer and photographer Jon Crook, the exhibition is accompanied by a video in which customers have the rare opportunity to engage directly with the maker's working environment, their intuitive behaviour, sketchbooks and thoughts, all of which we are familiar with but are drops of nectar to those interested and wanting to know more.
The video situates the viewer right at the jeweller's bench. In this way Yoko Izawa demonstrates the making of her delightful knitted nylon pieces. Her subtle use of colour and elegant choice of form, induce a sense of calm and serenity. Like walking alone in a park in autumn, watching the occasional leaf fall in slow motion, this work is peaceful, quiet and immensely evocative.
A wilder scene in Scotland explains Dot Sim's large silver curled pieces. Set against this backdrop of horizontal wind and crashing waves, they come alive with the rhythm of the sea and with her more recent interest in flamenco. Fiona Cameron from Nairn near Inverness picks up the rich colours of her landscape, beautifully represented in her sketchbook. I so enjoyed looking at these drawings, brought right into her jewellery by the inclusion of rust and pale blue enamel against oxidised silver. Every cup shape and flattened circle was hand formed, lovingly treated and assembled in a wealthy cascade, reminiscent of Etruscan jewellery.
The beach theme continues in Brighton where Jenifer Wall is beating various metals into submission. This she does with great mastery, using splashes of solder to decorative effect over the copper she uses, producing the largest work in the show. An impressive display of spectacle cases and carrying containers are testimony to this maker's craftsmanship which form a private beach of hand formed pebbles to treasure and collect. Annabet Wyndham's silver tea, coffee and table accessories including strainers, spoons and scoops, are equally collectable, an attractive proposition to take tea with a special friend.
Perhaps the most challenging artist is Lynne Kirstin Murray. Employing materials like wood, paint, felt and whatever else she deems necessary, this jeweller has a fearless conviction that pushes most boundaries into orbit. It is unusual for a British jeweller to show such confidence with colour. But confidence is a common link here, as Cathy Miles also demonstrates. On the wall over one of her pieces she writes: "I got stuck on a very long pier with the most boring man in Britain. As I got increasingly fed up I wondered what the birds thought of this interminable old man." Her delicate birds, drawn in binding wire, are the exquisite results of careful observation and sense of humour. How the birds must love her, they respond so well to her handling.
Kath Libbert marks another step in the development and awareness of contemporary jewellery with tireless energy and unique style.
Sarah O'Hana
A DVD of the documentary video described by Sarah is available for sale at 9 plus p&p and obtainable from the gallery. Please contact Kath Libbert Jewellery, Salts Mill, Victoria Road, Saltaire, W Yorks, BD18 3LB, T: 01274 599790, to secure your copy.
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. Email:info@kathlibbertjewellery.co.uk