5th December – 17th January 2015
An exhibition of jewellery made by a wide range of established sculptors. Illustrating the long history of this still somewhat unknown genre, Sculptors’ Jewellery includes works from well-known 20th Century artists; from Picasso and Alexander Calder to Lynn Chadwick and Geoffrey Clarke, as well as commissioning over 30 new works from leading contemporary figures such as David Bailey and Damien Hirst.
For this exhibition of Sculptors’ Jewellery I contributed two silver sculptures, Beastiform’ and ‘Curviform’ both designed to be worn as necklaces. In the accompanying catalogue I wrote the following:
I find the idea of jewellery as wearable sculpture a fascinating and appealing concept. The normal practice for exhibiting small pieces of sculpture is to present them in splendid isolation on a plinth. Forms designed to ornament the body break free of this convention to become animated and to develop an intimate relationship with the wearer.
It would seem that the compulsion to adorn our bodies or to wear valued objects is an incredibly ancient tradition and goes back to the very origins of art itself. One of the very earliest sculptures ever to have been discovered is a small Palaeolithic figure, the Venus of Hohle Fels, that has a carved ring in place of a head, presumably so that she could be worn as a pendant or amulet.
Some jewellery becomes so part of a person’s identity that it is never removed; other pieces are reserved for special occasions. These items when not being worn are usually carefully secreted away from view. In contrast when the sculptor’s jewellery is taken off, it should posses a quality that allows it to revert to being an independent object again and urges it to be overtly displayed as a piece of sculpture in its own right.
In her introduction to this catalogue the art columnist Emma Crichton-Miller comments on my two pieces of jewellery:
“His pieces bring to the fore the ancient power of jewellery to
make its wearer special – a power that reaches back to the
origins of all artistic making.”