7th November - 2nd February 2003
'€uromix'
Diverse Jewels from the Continent




Julia Griffith Jones - Apron, painted mild steel, 112x63cm
 

 

 


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€UROMIX

'€uromix' brings together the work of nine top jewellery designers and makers from Holland, Germany and Spain - many of whom have chosen KLJ for their first showing in the UK. Their creations can be seen alongside those of four British jewellers and metalsmiths in an eclectic, tactile show that at once manages to embrace humorous, fun designs, meticulous skills, a huge variety of materials and the gallery’s distinctive elegant aesthetic.
Collections on show include the delightful work of Dutch designer Felieke van der Leest - brooches, necklaces and bracelets that are crocheted or knitted with the thinnest of threads - each piece perfectly executed and ranging from a new take on the classic charm bracelet to a spermheart brooch. "The pieces I make are very simple" says Van der Leest, "you can immediately identify with them. I consciously choose to design jewellery that you don't need a degree in art history to understand."
In complete contrast to Felieke's miniature masterpieces, yet equally as intricate, are the stunning, life-size , 2D garments and objects created by Welsh designer Julia Griffiths Jones. Aluminium and steel are coiled, bent and twisted to resemble textile techniques such as quilting, patchwork, lace and embroidery, and then painted. The resulting brightly coloured swirls, shapes, flowers and creatures are inspired by imagery from her childhood, local legends and the experiences gained from her travel and time spent in Eastern Europe where this craft form flourishes. Pieces are spot-welded together to become exuberant representations of shirts, aprons, smocks and even a vase of flowers. For Julia, wire is a joyful medium and by bending and shaping it she feels she makes it dance - like stitching in the air. Paper may not be the first material that comes to mind in the creation of jewellery, but renowned Dutch jeweller Nel Linssen's pieces are made entirely of intricately folded and constructed paper - discs or strips are layered and coiled into beautifully tactile arm and neck pieces.

Other work in the exhibition includes jewellery by German designer Claudia Ruehl whose fanciful rings in brightly coloured rubber are a delight, and Erik Urbschat’s more classical but unconventional ‘Hedgehog’ rings with gold moving spines, and others that use plasters and grass to create textured surfaces on silver. Dutch designer Stephanie Jendis is showing her tableaux brooches using rough cut semi precious stones, plastic, gold and silver and British metalsmiths Jenifer Wall and Sam Maund have created a striking series of large platters in pewter, copper and brass, with a complementary collection of jewellery. The Spanish contributors are Tensi Solsona with his his Dadaesque brooches and Lali Mensa who in contrast shows an intimate particularly feminine collection with delicate silver and golden structures encasing pearls and coral flowers. Kath Libbert comments: "€uromix is largely a result of my own travels throughout Europe over the past few years and the pieces on show are very much my choice from some of the most creative and skillful work that I have seen. Euromix is also my way of marking the year of the €uro, bringing together at Salts Mill some of Europe's top designers. It is a fun show and I hope that visitors will share my response to the designers' delightful creations and amazing skills and techniques".
Artists featured in '€uromix' are: Eric Urbschat; Felieke Van Der Leest; Julia Giffith Jones; Nel Linsson; Claudia Ruehl; Stephanie Jendis; Jenifer Wall; Sam Maund; Tensi Solsona; Lali Mensa.