13th Nov - 25th Jan 2015

Findings Issue 60 Spring 2015

Findings Issue 60 2015
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About Us

Spring 2015

Youth Movement!
Nine New Graduates

Lindsay Hill, Jaki Coffey, Rosie Deegan, Beth Spowart, Rebecca E Smith, Karen E Donovan, Prudence Horrocks, Natalie Lee, Georgia Rose West
An exhibition at Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Salt’s Mill – reviewed by Sarah O’Hana

Kath Libbert never fails to catch the attention of her public with her exhibitions but a special focus has always been placed on new talent, which she makes a point of finding at each turn of the academic year.

Youth Movement! is no exception and it was impressive to see how individual concepts were brought to life through technical capacity and a clear love of materials. In this way Karen E Donovan takes us to the highlands of Scotland where elements of indigenous plants are picked out using subtle colours in titanium. This is someone who understands the material beyond its scientific properties, and loving it through the senses, explaining “…a noise it makes when I brush my hands across it, and a smell it creates when I pierce…” Her Chain No 2 necklace sits like a cascade of springy leaves, delicate as ice on a frosty morning.

Equally evocative is the work of Rebecca E Smith, whose discovery of 300 love letters sent during WWII from her Grandfather to her Grandmother provoked a series of pieces in celebration of the hand-written. She brings an elegant note in enamel and copper to nostalgic memories of endurance and separation. She adds: “When we write a letter we think ahead and there is a great preciousness in what we write before putting ink to paper.” It contrasts well with the immediacy of Jaki Coffey’s work, whose bright yellow skip aesthetic is a lot of fun and very engaging. Anyone with a weakness for skips, and the treasure that might be found there, will find her brooches irresistible.

Exploring kinetics and new ways of setting stones is Lindsay Hill’s territory. Her Flawless ring is intriguing. Through strong geometric elements she frees the stone to move along its tracks in a cage twice its size. Another irresistible piece to play with, it demonstrates ingenuity, as does the work of Beth Spowart, in the use of additive manufacturing and new materials. The group is complimented by the more informal, linear work of Prudence Horrocks and Natalie Lee, whose Wired Wearables bring an impulsive, improvised tempo to the scene through her command of large-scale work. This rhythm is picked up by the lively, spotted bowls of Georgia Rose West, who achieves her objective to incite warmth through her work.

On the wall hangs a striking installation of tools by Rosie Deegan: ‘For a Man of Substance’ - Impotent Tools. This powerful visual statement, my favourite, delivers messages of gender stereotypes and criticism towards the original inspiration, an exclusive toolbox by furniture maker, Benchmark, made useless, in her opinion, by its outrageous price. In response ‘Deegan began to see the toolbox not as an object of agency but instead a container of symbols, an empty gesture for ‘man of substance.’ Her glass interventions and masterful decoration entirely succeed whilst also establishing the tool as art.

A great display of new talent and inspiration is shown at Kath Libbert’s gallery. I look forward to next year’s!

Sarah O’Hana
Senior Lecturer
University of Lincoln

Kath LIbbert Jewellery Gallery: 2nd Floor, Salt’s Mill, Saltaire, BD18 3LA
Tel: 01274 599790

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.