EXPO ‘Matters of Life & Death’ – Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Saltaire (UK) – 7 Juill.-25 Sept. 2011
Matters of Life and Death
An exhibition that explores the responses of nine international jewellery artists to the proliferation of natural disasters and man-made destruction in our world
Matters of Life and Death includes sculptural work, jewellery and film, curated in a way that makes religious, political, artistic and fashion statements asking questions about life and death, light and dark, sobriety and humour.
(Neckpiece by Agnes Larsson)
Visitors will not only be confronted by the striking jewellery they will be provoked into considering the following: How would it feel to have a wolf trap clasped around your wrist?
Sophie Hanagarth, this year’s winner of the Herbert Hofmann prize, the world’s most prestigious contemporary jewellery award, presents Trap, wrought iron bracelets that resemble wolf traps with sharp, articulated claws. Says Hanagarth, ‘They are jaws, dentures or mouths worn on the arm. They absorb us, eat us or suck us. By the mere act of putting on these bracelets, our hand is gobbled down, devoured, an extremity of the human body is captured.’ The pieces are brutally beautiful surprisingly sensual and extremely wearable!
Sophie Hanagarth – ‘Trap’ (teeth) bracelet in forged iron
Do you dare wear Carbon and Horsehair?
Agnes Larsson combines these unlikely yet elemental materials to create dramatic neckpieces. Carbon is a basic material existing in all living things but which we also consider to be dead, burned and charred whilst horsehair is a natural material that has connections to the body and life. Agnes says, ‘In my pieces I see opposites like alive and dead, darkness and light, surface and depth, fragility and strength.’
Agnes Larsson – Back of ‘Carbo’ neckpiece in carbon and horsehair
Can severed swords become jewels to adorn the body?
Bernhard Lehner describes his jewellery as ‘symbolic disarmament’: weapons deconstructed – literally sawn apart – and then reformed as pieces of provacative jewellery, instruments of destruction recreated as desirable decoration for the body.
Bernhard Lehner – Belt made from a colt revolver from the Spanish civil war, sawn in pieces
But Matters of Life and Death isn’t all about doom and gloom. If you’re worried that our exhibition is going to bring you down, we’ve also selected jewellers whose work is energetic, creative and joyful to lift the spirits including colourful post apocalyptic mosaic tree brooches by Samantha Queen and vibrant, creative avant garde work by Lina Peterson that injects a literal ray of sunshine.
Lina Peterson- ‘Greenish’ brooch in mixed media, silver and 18ct gold
Finally, humourous highlights courtesy of Akiko Kurihara whose playful punning pieces charm and engage, and Peter Vermandere with gargoyle inspired pearl pins enigmatically titled ‘emotions for the advanced’.
Akiko Kurihara- ‘Gem’ rings in silver and glass – (I put the glass beads on the position of the gemstone cuts)
Peter Vermandere- ‘Freestyle Atomics’ brooch made from parts of the Expo 1958 Atomium building in Brussels. Aluminium with garnet crystals on matrix
Says curator Kath Libbert, ‘I wanted to curate an exhibition that reflects on destruction both natural and man-made, as this is a huge preoccupation in our world at the moment, but also an exhibition that explores the possibilities for regeneration, hope and humour. We’re also inviting visitors to be photographed wearing a piece that moves, excites, revolts…and to record their response on our ever growing Chain of Thought which will become an integral part of the exhibition. We hope you will feel compelled to make a visit, it’s a matter of life and death! ’
There will be a Collectors Event with keynote speakers to accompany the exhibition in September. For details please contact the gallery.
Angela O’Keefe. – ‘Ice Skating in the Dark’ Ring series salt crystals, resin, pigment, silver
Artists taking part in Matters of Life and Death are:
Gisbert Stach – Tree necklace