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Art Rocks: Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition features some of the finest and most inventive jewellers around. This is as many light years away from dull uninspiring high street jewellery as you can possibly get. Each design shines out as unique and handcrafted plus there’s a real sense of fun and experimentation in every piece. This comes across more as a art jewellery exhibition rather than your typical commercial showcase.
This jewellery exhibition of ten designers is curated by international jewellery specialist Joanna Hardy. The exhibition includes established names and emerging talent including Shaun Leane (UK), Zoe Arnold (UK), Sophia Mann (UK), Leo De Vroomen (UK), Fred Rich (UK), Kevin Coates (UK), Gimel (Japan), Atelier Zobel (Germany), Sevan Biçakçi (Turkey) and, for the first time showcasing in the UK, ARK (USA).
Selected by curator Joanna Hardy as examples of distinctive and highly original voices from within the industry, the exhibition explores the tale of creativity and craftsmanship behind each intricate piece.
“Jewellery of great craftsmanship, design and originality has always been my passion. I believe jewellery should reflect the wearer’s individuality but to find well made, unique jewels is often not easy. These ten eclectic international jewellery designer/makers, some of whom are established master craftsmen and others that are emerging or have never showcased in the UK before, have this talent. This exhibition puts jewels on a platform where they can be appreciated as wearable art.”
I have to mention Shaun Leane’s The Glove, an intricate and technically brilliant piece of jewellery art that looks like a cross between luxury armour and a lace evening glove. The piece is made up of more than a thousand grams of 18ct white gold and is set with over 5,000 pavé white diamonds. Made in two parts, the cuff can be worn alone as a hand glove, or extended into an evening glove.
I also loved the work of Sevan Biçakçi a Turkish craftsman whose work looks like it might have been discovered in some ancient tomb. It looks magical and timeless, straight out of a fairy tale. As he says himself he describes his pictorial rings as ‘Byzantine Empire meets Alice in Wonderland.’ He translates ancient stories into drawings for his goldsmiths to work on from his atelier in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
If you are a lover of great, handcrafted jewellery then take a look around this exhibition for some of the best examples around.