Material Alchemy Seminar

Material Alchemy

On Friday 11th March 2016, we headed off in earnest from the Ulster University to Kilkenny for the exhibition Not Too Precious, hosted by National Craft Gallery Ireland. Upon arrival we were greeted by the beautifully curated exhibition.  Once we gathered ourselves and took a few selfies with Zoe Robertson’s Necklace, we headed to the talks.

Having travelled from Birmingham, Zoe Robertson kicked off the day with a presentation on her inspiration, working methods and her newest exhibition, ‘Flockomania’. As a fan of her work it was very exciting to see her process and studio environment. She was followed by Eoin M Lyons giving us an insight into his mind space and recent NCAD graduate Jaki Coffey with her new perspective on the jewellery art scene providing us with a laugh and a view of what’s possible when you literally apply yourself to everything! After the individual talks there was a panel discussion about opportunities available to those on different stages of their career. I feel this was of huge benefit to the students in the room posing the reality of their future lives as artists/jewellers.

Just before lunch we had the pleasure of listening to Sonja Landweer telling us about Ireland in the 60’s with a wonderful anecdote about garlic and her uncensored films being show in the Castle Yard.

After a stroll around the lovely surroundings, we heard from Felieke van der Leest about her childhood inspired work. Julie Connellan discussed the public’s engagement and perception of jewellery art and Carina Shoshtary told us about her beautiful work that’s inspired by her surroundings. The presentations were followed by a second panel discussion, which looked at the journey the work makes after leaving the studio to galleries, collectors and beyond.

This seminar was very inspiring and it was encouraging to see an event of this type happening in Ireland. Hopefully from this stems a jewellery revolution! A huge thank you to the Design &Craft Council Ireland, The National Craft Gallery and all of the speakers who took part.

Robyn Galway

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HOME Exhibition – Introducing the Participants…

We’ve had fantastic feedback from the public about our ‘Home’ Exhibition and it has been a real pleasure to work in partnership with convoi exceptionnel to created this exchange project.

The exhibition showcases the work of 9 Irish Art Jewellers alongside 9 Finnish Art Jewellers. Each jeweller has made a piece based on the theme of ‘Home’, the work was exhibited in Taidebunkkeri, Imatra,Finland; 4th to 30th August and in Belfast, Ireland; 1st to 31st October 2015.

The images below give an insight into each of the participants and the pieces they created. Click on each of the images and scroll down for descriptions/details of the makers.

HOME Exhibition opening at Space CRAFT, Belfast.

Some photos of our opening night on Thursday. With special thanks to Rachel Dickson, (Course Director of Contemporary Applied Arts at the Belfast School of Art) for officially opening the exhibition. We will feature some more information on each of the jewellers involved during the month of the exhibition.

This is an art jewellery exchange exhibition between Convoi Exceptionnel (Finland) and Art Jewellery Network (Ireland).
The project explores the theme of ‘Home’. What makes you feel like home? Is home for you a place, a state of mind, a memory? How does nationality effect these feelings? Every answer is different – the exhibition will present 18 point of views by the means of jewellery art.

This exhibition showcases the work of 9 Irish Art Jewellers alongside 9 Finnish Art Jewellers. Each jeweller has made a piece based on the theme of ‘Home’, the work was exhibited in Taidebunkkeri, Finland 4th to 30th August and is now opening in Belfast, Ireland 1st to 31st of October 2015.

Nora Fok

Nora FokExhibition – Talk – Workshop

Project Linlon is on show in R-Space Gallery, Lisburn from 21st March to 18th April 2015.

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending an artist talk and workshop by Nora Fok as part of her exhibition at R-Space Gallery. It was lovely to get a chance to chat to Nora about her work, I haven’t met many artists who are as generous in sharing their knowledge. A lot of her techniques have taken years of research to bring together and this passion really comes across when you see her research collections. Carefully collected in handmade boxes these collections consist of beautiful natural/found and recycled materials. Seed heads carefully dissected and preserved show the visual link to the forms found in her work.

Through the talk we were given some background about Nora. Growing up in Hong Kong she left school early to work in a factory and attended evening classes to finish her secondary education. She initially studied and worked as graphic designer in Hong Kong before moving to England. In 1978 she went on to take a three year course in wood, metal, ceramics and plastics at Brighton Polytechnic. During her studies she specialised in lost wax casting and described how she found manipulating wax much easier than metal. Here she was introduced to unusual materials and free thinking opening up a way to contemporary jewellery. I love the dedication and patience Nora clearly has for her work. This is especially evident in her ‘Cloud Nylon’ neckpiece which took two years to complete. Nora mentioned that she would knit until her finger bled resulting in being forced to take a break to give them time to heal. She also described how nerve wrecking the dying process was which was done after the piece was completed, if this went wrong it would take three days to knit just one inch.

The exhibition showcases the results of her ‘Linlon’ project. The Linlon project was a collaboration between Nora, the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum and McConville’s Mill & Museum Dromore, County Down. Nora developed “linlon”, a linen and nylon mixed mono filament thread. As part of her research she grew her own flax from local seed and studied the various processing techniques before combining it with nylon. Using ‘linlon’ in combination with flax seeds, Galway linen, stems, beads, pearls and other synthetic polymers she created a number of bangles, earrings, and neckpieces. Images 1-4 below show some of these pieces currently in the exhibition.

Posted by Lotus de Wit

Surgery Gallery Opening

Surgery Gallery Opening

The Surgery Gallery is a new venture by AJN co-founder/jeweller, Robyn Galway. Previously a doctor’s surgery in Belfast these space have been converted to a gallery and studio spaces.

This month we had a little Christmas get together and a last chance to see the Chain Reaction work on display. Thank you to all the lovely jewellers who took part in this project!

Chain Reaction Exhibition at Space CRAFT.

Chain Reaction opened at the Space CRAFT Gallery on the 2nd of October and continues to 1st of November 2014. This exhibition brings together a number of art jewellers from or based in Ireland, it showcases a diverse range of beautiful, alternative jewellery.

The AJN Team; Lotus, Shannon & Robyn.

The AJN Team; Lotus, Shannon & Robyn.

The participants were invited to create a one metre chain which joins up to make a large installation in the form of a necklace. Each chain can be worn individually or multiple chains can be worn together. Alongside this is a selection of each jeweller’s own work to give an insight into their practice.

It has been really exciting to bring together 14 art jewellers who all have very different approaches to their work. The images below provide an overview of the opening night and exhibition. To find out more about our participants individually check out our earlier introduction blog post here.

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Introducing the Chain Reaction Participants

Gallery

This gallery contains 14 photos.

In the next couple of months we will be showcasing work by the artists below as part of our Chain Reaction Exhibition. We are really excited about bringing together the beautiful, diverse range of jewellery by these makers. Below is … Continue reading

Double Flipside Exhibition at R-Space Gallery.

I made a short trip down to Lisburn for the opening of ‘Double Flipside’, an exhibition of work by Dr Sarah McAleer & Eddie J Doherty.

I would recommend this exhibition for all kinds of jewellery lovers, it offers a unique insight into the planning, making and the alternative side to these two goldsmiths.

About the makers: known independently for their successful contemporary jewellery pieces and high-end commission work constructed in precious materials.

The exhibition runs to the 28th August 2014 below is further information on talks and the workshop. Gallery opening times; Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm

The first piece that drew my attention in the exhibition is shown in image one. This necklace by Dr Sarah McAleer was originally designed during her PHD in the Royal College but never finished, until now. Her thesis entitled; Children and Jewellery in Europe: Traditions and Contemporaneity’, focused on children’s jewellery. The glass eye set into the silver heart cage was especially made for her by a children’s hospital in London and related to the concept of the evil eye protection charm. The chain consists of 3D printed skulls combining cutting edge technology with traditional goldsmithing techniques. This piece also manages to capture the feel of the overall exhibition for me, by combining very pretty elegant shapes and colours with rather detailed creepy skulls.

Image three show one of Eddie J Doherty’s sculptural hair pieces. Two rather lethal looking spikes rest in an elegant silver form. The two spikes can be pulled out of their setting to fasten the hair piece in place. The main element in Eddie’s work which often fascinates me is his approach to designing and making fittings and clasps. Rather than using traditional designs he often creates his own from scratch, somehow making something very complicated look elegant and minimal.

Posted by Lotus de Wit

The Linen Rooms, 32 Castle Street, Lisburn, BT27 4XE, Tel: 028 9266 3179

Talk and Workshop

Dr Sarah McAleer and Eddie J Doherty artist goldsmiths with be talking about their practice and the current exhibition of their “Darkside” work on display at R-Space at The Linen Rooms Lisburn which is open to all and free from 11am -12pm.

They will also be running a masterclass workshop from 1am-4pm in the afternoon at a small charge of £10 per person, materials supplied, booking essential as places are limited.

To Book Your Place e-mail rspace@linenroomslisburn.com
or Call 028 9266 3179

Craft Fest 2014

10561632_888320237845250_6009276788521289186_nTwo thirds of AJN (Shannon McShane and Robyn Galway) took part in Craft Fest this year. Exhibiting, demonstrating and selling their jewellery in the National Trust’s Castle Ward.

Craft Fest is organised by the Craft and Design Collective to celebrate Applied Art and Design this annual event provides a great opportunity to  meet the makers and get an insight into their practice.

Posted by Lotus de Wit