Precious Collective in Plymouth

posted in: Exhibitions | 0

Last week we took a rare day off, drove to CTM to collect glaze materials, then on to Ocean Studios in Plymouth to see an international ‘Art Jewellery’ collective show. Wow. It was everything I wanted to see and more in a forward thinking, experimental jewellery group. This was my tribe, and Lynne Speake who started the group in 2017, welcomed us with open arms. A beautiful display space; light, airy, spacious, with a nice cafĂ©. Lynne and her exhibition committee had put together an eclectic, fascinating collection of work from all over the world, in an interesting way. Too many fabulous artists to mention. Val Muddyman, who has a studio nearby has been working with jesmonite (above brooch) which ages when (?) is added to the resin – lovely textured ‘things’. I also liked Rachel Colley’s mango stone necklace (above), such a simple but effective idea. A lot of the selected artists reuse and recycle as a methodology; this is really effectively demonstrated by Lynne Speake’s monumental neckpieces (top left). Along with the found bits in her assemblages, she has experimented using paper clay too, which of course meant we hit it off immediately! We were so excited talking with her, and are really looking forward to exhibiting together sometime in the future. I really do think this is a pivotal exhibition for art jewellery in the UK; there is a progressive following for ‘schmuck’ in Europe and Japan, but here in the UK it seems that quite often collectors are less adventurous despite leading the way back in the 60s and 70s. This could be the time …

Using translucent paper as a backdrop to the wide variety of materials, was effective, but apparently not easy to hang.

The delicate with the dominant. Beautiful juxtapositions. Skilled use of materials, demonstrating that precious is not about the cost of materials which are ‘perceived valuable by the hierarchy’, but highlights what we can all hold precious – memories, found objects, the unique / one off. Celebrating the odd or unusual.

Precious Collective can be found at