10th November - 28th January 2007
'Ten Years On'
THE MILL IN MINIATURE

A Special exhibition and competition to celebrate
a decade of Kath Libbert Jewellery at Salts Mill.




Findings, March 2007 review of Ten Years On

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FINDINGS - The Association for Contemporary Jewellery's quarterly newsletter.
March 2007

10 Years On - The Mill in Miniature

Sarah O'Hana attended the opening
On Thursday 9th November 2006 Kath Libbert, of Saltaire in West Yorkshire, celebrated the 10th anniversary of her gallery in Salts Mill.
Salts Mill, built by Sir Titus Salt in 1853, is steeped in an especially rich industrial history, renowned for its use of Peruvian Alpaca wool. Kath responded to this by inviting 35 makers to take part in a competition with a 500 prize to be won. This was great news indeed. Few competitions exist in the UK for contemporary jewellery, let alone ones that welcome international entries in response to such strong regional history.
Kath's event opened in style with a whirlwind of guests turning out especially to see the entries that had responded to the Salts Mill environment. Nearby, artists' statements were clear to see, and visitors were very keen to read the literature from beginning to end. By having a focus to the celebratory event Kath had created an extra dimension of intrigue that resulted in a very electric, anticipatory atmosphere.
In addition to the juried prize, a Public Vote, whose winner will receive a special commission from the Silver family (owners of Salts Mill), ensured that all present were fully engaged in the scrutiny of these makers. I was delighted to see new work from Catalan favourites Xavier Ines Monclus and Silvia Piva. Monclus' passion for local heritage was given here the perfect platform and his performance did not disappoint with a brooch prominently featuring a blue-smoking factory chimney. Czech Blanka Sperkova presented a necklace of multicoloured alpacas impossibly knitted in wire with her fingers. A minute 18ct gold container by Catherine Mannheim housed vintage photos for a brooch alongside a thoughtful piece by Betty Pepper Lady Caroline's Cameo Appearance made in memory of Titus' wife who bore him 11 children. Domesticity stood side by side with pioneering layer technology seen in Lynne K Murray's rapid prototyped Woollen Nebula. Equally impressive entries by Cathy Miles, Chris Philipson and many others made it hard to cast the public vote.
Finally, from the magnificent, oversized chair at the entrance of her gallery, Kath announced that the jury, Professor Dorothy Hogg MBE (Head of Jewellery and Silversmithing, Edinburgh College of Art) Muriel Wilson (Association for Contemporary Jewellery), Simon Palmer (painter and winner of the Royal Academy 2006 Windsor and Newton Turner Award) and Jennifer Hallam (Arts Council England) had chosen Blanka Sperkova as winner of the 500 gallery award. Kath herself, however, deserves an award for 10 years of visionary performance and a most refreshing approach to international artists and emerging talent. Long may this continue at Salts Mill.
STOP PRESS: The winner of the public vote is announced as Blanka Sperkova again! and by a substantial margin.

Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Salts Mill, Saltaire, Bradford BD18 3LA. Tel/Fax 01274 599790. For directions see About Us
Open Monday - Friday 10am - 5.30pm. Weekends 10am - 6pm. Email:info@kathlibbertjewellery.co.uk