London’s Bankside Contemporary Applied Arts is hosting an exhibition of jewellery inspired by floral motifs crafted by 20 contemporary artists.
Flowers have been one of the most popular and inspiring motifs in jewellery since time immemorial. The Romans were fond of ivy circlets, the Tudors favoured long necklaces with clusters of tiny blossoms, the Victorians spoke the language of love through symbolic flowers and Art Nouveau borrowed its sinuous floral forms from nature.
Left to wither and abandoned by proponents of the Contemporary Studio Jewellery Movement, the floral motif is alive and in full bloom once again as this new exhibition at the CAA in Bankside confirms.
Spotlighting cutting-edge, imaginative and technically accomplished modern work, Bloomin’ Jewels celebrates the tradition of interpreting flowers and foliage in jewellery. Over 20 contemporary artists have been invited to showcase their work in a wide variety of materials and methods, and all the pieces exhibited are for sale. From historical methods of working with precious metals and gemstones to the use of non-precious materials like resin and 3D-printed nylon, there is a flower-inspired piece of jewellery out there for every taste.
As guest curator Corinne Julius notes: “We have selected jewellers across the gamut of contemporary making. The results are not what most people will think of as ‘pretty flower pieces’. They are unexpected and, in some cases, quite challenging, but then contemporary jewellery is wearable art. As far as we are aware, there has not been an exhibition on botanical motifs in contemporary jewellery in the UK.”
Participating makers at the Bloomin’ Jewels exhibition are Zoe Arnold, Flora Bhattachary, Kelvin J Birk, Jonathan Boyd, Donna Brennan, Sonia Cheadle, Gill Galloway-Whitehead, Anna Gordon, Dorothy Hogg, Andrew Lamb, Kathie Murphy, Lina Peterson, Wendy Ramshaw, Kayo Saito, Romilly Saumarez Smith, Hans Stofer, Rie Taniguchi, Christopher Thompson Royds, Maud Traon, Silvia Weidenbach, Rebecca Wilkes and Xenia Walschikow.
Based in central London, Contemporary Applied Arts (CAA) was founded in 1948 to promote and support the making of fine crafts in Britain. CAA currently represents around 350 designer makers covering the entire spectrum of applied arts and showcases their work in exhibitions at the Southwark gallery.
Running in tandem with the Bloomin’ Jewels exhibition, the CAA will be holding talks with leading experts in the field. Click here for more information.
Sonia Cheadle’s delicate Summer brooch, Rebecca Wilkes’ Floral Focus neckpiece made from 3D printed Nylon powder and Hans Stofer’s Enziand necklace made from antique ceramic, chicken bones and steel.