Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Degree Show 2011 - Jewellery

The jewellery display was located in a different part of Duncan of Jordanstone this year - in the Matthew Building - and the space was excellent - very spacious with a well laid out display. In the past there has been some very unappealing displays (all hung on the walls so squished together that telling the collections apart was near impossible) so this has been addressed well with clear definition and spaces in the middle of the room as well as wall displays complete with interesting shelves & plinths to break up continuity.

As mentioned before, a few designers stuck out personally as "ones to visit" and these displays did not disappoint. Kerrianne Flett's work was simplistic and serene - an interesting body of work examining process & approach - and Filipa Oliveira's work was as gorgeous as expected with her necklace particularly catching my eye: delicate and beautiful yet very contemporary.

Emma McDermott's pieces are inspired by hummingbirds in Peru "who suffer the terrible effects of mining in their habitat."  The damage is caused by the jewellery industry which encouraged Emma "to use all recycled materials in her work. This includes the paper which her illustrations are printed on. The handmade paper is the main material she uses for the making jewellery." I appreciate that Emma has used recycled products to highlight a good cause and although all the products are natural, the pieces look quite unusual but in a really interesting way, showing she has manipulated her materials well.

Also using natural products, this time as tools, was Merlin Planterose.

Merlin, inspired by the rugged Highland landscape and way of living, used stones to raise sterling silver bowls and create elements to be used in jewellery. The silver used actually begins to take on the appearance of a rock but each piece cleverly has a flash of polished silver to remind you that these are actually very precious pieces. I predict a lot of success for Merlin with her work.

Blowing the traditionally-themed jewellery out of the water with a focus on colour was the beautiful Indian inspired street scene-jewellery by Jessica Ruth Howard. A favourite for many reasons (unusual, fun, intricate and colourful to name but a few) I found it hard not to find it a favourite just for the interest it commanded from the room by standing out against the serious whites, greys & silvers. I loved that it worked as a piece of jewellery, a jewellery box and as a complete object,a tiny artwork.

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