17th July – 28th Sept 2008

NOW & THEN
Antique meets Contemporary


Sentiment & Sex
‘‘Two Claw Cluster’ ring by Kelvin Birk - 22ct gold, rubies and pink agate, with ‘REGARD’ gold heart pendant - Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby, Diamond c1840

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NOW & THEN

A remarkable exhibition of contemporary and antique jewellery exploring the timeless themes of power and politics, life and death, laughter and love.

Sentiment & Sex
Here we celebrate jewels with the power to seduce - or even to scandalize and look at the language of love, lust and longing – as expressed through jewels and stones. Jerwood prize-winning jeweller Adam Paxon creates bold acrylic jewellery which takes its influence from organic forms and nature’s colourful language of warning and courtship. His vibrant pieces, with names such as ‘Squirming' ring and ‘Spondylitis' neckpiece often attach to the body or clothing in unusual ways, giving new approaches to wearability - and a new meaning to ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’!
By crushing and pulverizing precious gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds, then reforming them using molten gold or silver, Kelvin J Birk creates his intriguing rings in which the cooled, set metal holds or encloses the fragments of stones. Often working with second-hand or inherited pieces of jewellery, this process retains the
sentiment of the original in the unique ‘freeform’ piece that emerges and expresses Kelvin’s belief that ‘nothing is constant, everything is transient … loss gives rise to new things … the constant circle of creation and destruction is unstoppable’. Now & Then’s examples of beautiful REGARD brooches and rings show how, by using a sequence of Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby and Diamond, the Victorians used stones in their own way to capture sentiments and messages. Similarly, floral bouquet brooches, often given as romantic gifts, were used by lovers to express sentiments such as love (rose), kiss (mistletoe), innocence (daisy). By beautiful contrast, the internationally renowned jeweller, Georg Dobler, shows his sumptuous brooches – silver and gold cast branches, foliage, flowers and fruit – rich and heavy with decadent stones.

Now & Then runs from 17th July to 28th September 2008. Salts Mill is open weekdays from 10am – 5.30pm and weekends 10am – 6pm. For further information call 01274 599790.

Artists taking part in Artists taking part in Sentiment & Sex are: Kelvin Birk; Georg Dobler; Adam Paxon.
Sentiment & Sex Antique pieces. Other themes: Memento Mori ; Power & Politics; The Lighter Side.