Fused -contemporary enamel
This show, curated by Melissa Rigby, the Chairman of the British Society of Enamellers, aims to challenge the pre-conceived ideas attached to enamel by questioning technique, process and aesthetic and to explore contemporary artist’s voices within this ancient medium.
Enamelling, the art of fusing glass onto metal with heat, is one of the most ancient and durable means of adding colour to metal. Fused brings together artists who use the traditional enamelling technique in new and exciting ways, creating a fresh visual language for this process. Their application of enamel gives an arresting beauty and unique patina to a diverse group of objects, panels and jewellery.
Artists (for jewelry):
Carola Bauer, Stacey Bentley , Bettina Dittlmann, Lydia Feast, Kirsten Haydon, Hiroki Iwata, Karin Johansson, Kye-Yeon Son
Bettina Dittlmann is inspired by historical jewellery, ranging from mourning Victorian jewellery to American Indian pieces. Dittlmann studies the historic forms and content, which later influence her own work. Drawing is an important part of Bettina Dittlmann’s life, often a starting point for a piece of jewellery.
Carola Bauer captures incidental gestures in her jewellery; the cinema ticket in a coat pocket, twisted to a paper roll or the accordion-folded slip of paper. Bauer hopes to remind the observer of gestures. The surprises that she experiences in the search of forms also happen during the handling and use of enamel colours.
Stacey Bentley is inspired by urban scenery. Becoming increasingly attentive to the unexpected and unnoticed components of this industrial environment allows Bentley to discover an elegant and mysterious aesthetic. The jewellery explores the new possibilities and ideas that industrial liquid enamel can bring to contemporary jewellery.
Karin Johansson’s work is a treasure hunt among things and stray thoughts that arise and are discarded and then meet again. Out of this process grows something enduring. “I collect, small things that fit in my matchboxes: actual pieces or abstract images caught in flight.”
Jewellery is a personal and sentimental medium. Historically, objects were created in the form of miniature representations of landscapes and icons that reminded people of their journeys and experiences. Kirsten Haydon travelled to Antarctica as an Arts Fellow. Since that time she has been exploring the depiction of this landscape, its remoteness and simplicity of landscape. “The sparseness of the landscape allowed me to focus on the man-made objects within it.”
Lydia Feast explores the concept of contrasting elements. Echoing references to time and nature whilst combining a modern clean aesthetic, this collection ‘Chaos &Calm’ brings together contrasting elements illustrating a harmony between chaos and calm, new and old and silence and noise. Inspired by her research into chaos theory: “the underlining order in some of nature’s most random processes”. Each piece is unique as a result of the carefully controlled but ultimately random outcome.
Kye-Yeon Son explores positive and negative spaces through her branch structures. Her work symbolizes the human cycle of growth, death, and renewal. They seem to capture intangible emotions, spirits or memories.
Hiroki Iwata takes inspiration from nature around him describing it as « an irreplaceable treasure ». His brooches made of silver, enamel and aluminium foil reflect his aim to produce feelings of empathy with the motifs of the natural world in the viewer.
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