Shortlist for major Jewellery Award shows that the intersection between science, technology, natural forces and cultural expression is ripe for exploration.
Four unique designers, Sophie Boons, Vann Kwok, Christopher Thompson Royds and Katharina Vones have been shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Jewellery Award.
With £10,000 going to the winner the prize was hotly contested from a longlist of nominated UK-based designers. The judges were jewellery designer Solange Azagury-Partridge, Head of Modern Design at Christies Simon Andrews and Caroline Broadhead, Jeweller and Course Leader of Jewellery Design at Central St Martins who commented on the applicants:
‘Each was strong and individual, and each prompted discussion about what we consider to be jewellery, its purpose and how people make it and use it. It was a fascinating experience’. The recipient of the award will be announced on Thursday 28th January in London at the Arts Foundation Awards 2016 when £78,000 of awards will be announced across the Arts.
Sophie Boons’ practice is inspired by substances, scents and science, calling herself the ‘Alchemical Jeweller’. She was scouted as ‘One to Watch’ (2015) by the Design Council for her progressive work creating a new material combining resin and gold nanoparticles. By contrast Christopher Thompson Royds is concept-driven, exploring themes of sentimentality and value, with his Natura Morta (2014) series considering permanence and impermanence in nature using paper-thin gold and silver, hand cut and painted as flowers. Digital jeweller Katherina Vones creates ‘stimulus-responsive’ jewellery enriched by what she calls ‘technological enchantment’; pieces that use digital technology that change colour according to its environment, such as body temperature or react to the heartbeat of the wearer. Vann Kwok’s work sit between the realms of art, fashion and jewellery with an emphasis on material innovation and interaction using both traditional and modern methods of manufacturing. Her film ‘Out of Flux’ showing her latest collection can be seen at London’s Short Film Festival in 2016.
‘Stylised or dramatic, crafted or conceptual, perhaps allegorical or simply inquisitive, or of materials both traditional and new - jewellery will offer multiple intriguing personalities, but foremost may be the prospects of engagement, innovation and of communication. After careful and considered review, we identified in those shortlisted jewellers a sense of orientation that can offer new interpretations to the craft and meaning of jewellery.’ Simon Andrews, Judging Panel.
The £10,000 award is not a commission but to be used to pay for living and working expenses, allowing the artist, who has to show a track record in the art form, breathing space in order to further their practice. Over the past 23 years the Foundation has given over £1.6m to support artists from all areas of the arts. Previous winners of this particular award include Andrew Lamb and Lin Cheung.
Other categories for 2016 Arts Foundation Awards are: Art in Urban Space, Materials Innovation, Literary Translation, Producers of Live Music and Children’s Theatre.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on the shortlist and the Arts Foundation go to www.artsfoundation.co.uk FOR INTERVIEWS, IMAGES & INFO about the award contact Shelley on 07976 692995 or viae-mail JOIN OUR MAILING LIST to get infos about events, the awards and artist fellows >Join Mailing List<
Sofie finds inspiration in materials, science and the world of scents, perfumes and smells. In her alchemical practice she strives to find the means to make invisible substances visible such as her creation of a recipe book on how to make wearable solid perfumes.
Her latest project began during a Masters in GSMJ at the RCA where she collaborated with Imperial College PhD student Jodie Melbourne leading to the research of metals on a nanoscale. Used widely in the medical world gold nanoparticles can be manufactured through the reduction of chloroauric acid creating gold atoms which group together.
For Hong Kong born Vann Kwok, jewellery design provides a perfect platform to thread together her interests and experience spanning design, fashion, photography and motion picture. Her work is largely informed by historical references to painting and sculpture as seen in her recent collection completed for her Masters at the London College of Fashion which drew inspiration from the compositions of colour, line, form and space of early Western still life and modernist geometric abstract painting.
‘To the man on the street the term jewellery can be used to describe everything from a 20 carat diamond to a plastic trinket, but the response to each are equally different’ says Christopher whose practice has always been centred around the issues of sentimentality, value, permanence and impermanence. In his graduate project ‘Lead Weight’ (2010) he used gold and lead to explore the near-physical absence felt by his grandmother after the robbery of her jewellery collection long before he was born. Themes of perceived value, emotional and financial, wrestled with each other while also referencing how Ancient Romans had made counterfeit jewels out of gold plated iron to deceive the viewer and gold covered lead the wearer.
Scottish-based Kathy is currently completing a PhD on the creation of stimulus-reactive jewellery using smart materials and microelectronics following extensive study in silversmithing and jewellery.
The inspiration in Kathy's work has come from two very different sources : the vibrancy of natural structures and the darkly glittering geometries of the city which she expresses by using a variety of materials ranging from tactile silicon to intricate metallic structures enclosing geometric gemstones and ossified minerals.