Cool Construct - New Kids on the Block

18 Nov 2010 – 30 Jan 2011

Event times

Open Monday to Friday 10am — 5.30pm. Weekends 10am — 6pm

Cost of entry


Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery

Saltaire, United Kingdom


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Inspired by urban chic, Cool Construct takes the work of eight emerging jewellery artists, all recent graduates who have created intelligent, dramatic and exciting designs that reflect strong technical and artistic ability. The jewellery for this exhibition has been chosen by curator Kath Libbert who selected the eight artists from hundreds of jewellery graduates. ‘I always look for individuality and a fresh approach.' Says Kath. ‘Cool Construct showcases the work of a selection of very talented jewellers who have been inspired by architecture, the urban environment and geometric forms and who have responded innovatively.' The Cool Construct Kids: Using the structure of the diamond as inspiration, Myia Bonner (Grad 2010 Middlesex University) creates hard angled outsized statement pieces in gold and silver. She says ‘My jewellery challenges scale, common associations, preconceptions and traditions given to the infamous stone.' A new way to wear a diamond: bold, brash and iconographic. David Finlay (Grad 2010 Glasgow School of Art) takes inspiration from the architecture of Glasgow and structural engineering. Using silver, gold, steel and precious stones, he creates elegantly austere geometric constructions with the understated addition of gems to ornament the human body. In contrast, Heather McDermott (Grad 2010 Edinburgh College of Art) fuses influences from the rugged coastal surroundings of her home in the Isle of Skye with the angular forms of urban landscapes. Building up layers of enamel on geometrically shaped silver wire, Heather creates colour-infused pieces reminiscent of treasures washed up on the shore. Debra Townend (Grad 2010 University of Hertfordshire) uses the diversity and state of change found in cities to inform her work. Drawing inspiration from run down areas such as Spitalfields and Brick Lane in London, Debra explores cultural and social diversity in her jewellery. Looking at the marks — detritus and graffiti - that people have left behind and responding to them by combining everyday materials with precious ones, she creates pieces that suggest the colours and textures of the urban landscape. Playful and ambiguous, Janine Preece's (Grad 2010 Swansea Metropolitan University) elegantly laser cut neckpieces are created in brightly coloured layered polyester and call to mind historic dress, opulent interiors and ornate architecture. Eleanor Bolton (Grad 2010 Royal College of Art) uses rope to form carefully coiled constructions that are incredibly precise, unexpectedly light and singularly beautiful. Coiling and stitching cotton rope, she explores the idea of skilled action as a narrative quality. She says, ‘Through working intuitively, the material provides the information and inspiration for the growing forms that seem to evolve rather than be made.' Fiona West's (Grad 2010 Buckinghamshire New University) bright and funky jewellery is inspired by contemporary Japanese architecture. The geometric shapes of her Skyscraper rings tower dramatically above the hand and have simplicity of line. Fiona also incorporates concrete and wood into her work, often combining these with precious metals to create geometric pieces. Charlotte Valkeniers (Grad 2010, Buckinghamshire New University) uses biological structure, the splitting and multiplying of cells — the building blocks of life, as inspiration for a collection of jewellery that takes the idea of Cool Construct to another level. Using hand blown glass as her medium and her metaphor, Charlotte responds to the fragility and preciousness of conception and early life, making delicate, detailed, fascinating pieces of jewellery.


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