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Collect Talk: Material Focus - Metalwork and Jewellery

Juliette Bigely, Tall Vessels, Patinated Gilding Metal and Sterling Silver, 2016 Photo Credit: Nicola Tree

Material Focus – Metalwork & Jewellery

Our series exploring materials starts with a spotlight on metal. Corinne Julius, curator and journalist will draw out different perspectives and processes in discussion with jeweller and lecturer Christopher Thompson Royds, lecturer and curator Simon Fraser, metal artist Juliette Bigley and Christina Jansen, Director of the Scottish Gallery.

Juliette Bigley is an artist-metalsmith who uses base and precious metals to explore objects, their characters and our relationships to them, especially the ways in which we use objects to structure and explore the world in which we live. Focussing particularly on line and form, her work is both sculptural and functional and has relationships – between people, between people and objects and between objects themselves – at its heart. Based in London, her initial career focussed on classical singing, followed by a number of years in healthcare management undertaking service design for a range of providers. Juliette chanced on her love of metal by accident when a quieter job provided the opportunity to undertake an evening class - and she soon exchanged designing services for making objects. At The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design she trained as a silversmith under influential makers including Simone ten Hompel, David Clarke and Wayne Meeten, gaining both BA (Hons, First Class) and a research MA (Distinction). Her research interests include our relationship to the objects with which we surround ourselves, and the ways in which we use objects to negotiate our emotional and physical place in the world. Juliette has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally (Ireland, USA, Switzerland, Dubai and Germany) including at Goldsmiths’ Fair, where she received a Special Mention and was selected for the curated sections by both architect Zaha Hadid and former Director or the Serpentine Galleries Julia Peyton-Jones. She was selected by the Design Council as one of their Ones to Watch, a group of designers selected for having the potential to contribute to the future of Britain as a design nation. As well as winning several other awards, she has been featured in, amongst others, CRAFTS Magazine, Craft and Design Magazine, the Evening Standard and the FT’s How to Spend It.

Simon Fraser’s practice-based research ranges from jewellery and performance to curating exhibitions and critical commentary on contemporary design. his avant-garde, highly crafted, public live arts iterations of theoretical and innovative design thinking and practice, are staged at venues like the ICA and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. His jewellery practice includes studio work, directional fashion collections and broader luxury industry consultancies. Since visiting India in 1994, he has been engaged with design and micro/small scale manufacturing in developing countries. For internationally touring events like ‘onepartcheffourpartsdesigner’ Simon collaborated with designers and specialists from around the globe to create innovatory, sensual design experiences. The reflective element of practice informs curation of exhibitions e.g; ‘Contemporary Japanese Jewellery’ (Crafts Council, London 2002), ‘Alchemy’ (The British Council, Middle East, 2007). Simon regularly lectures and his books include ‘Contemporary Japanese Jewellery’ Merrell, London (2002); and Chapter 4, ‘The Persistence of Craft’, A&C Black, London (2003).

Christina Jansen is currently the Managing Director of The Scottish Gallery which is a fine art gallery based in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic new town.  The Gallery specialises in fine, applied and visual art; curating and producing a monthly programme of both historical and contemporary exhibitions.  In 2017, The Scottish Gallery celebrates 175 years of art.  Christina Jansen studied Industrial Design at Manchester and completed a post graduate in the Decorative arts at The University of Glasgow.

Corinne Julius is a curator, journalist and broadcaster with a special interest in contemporary craft. In 2014 she instigated and developed the highly successful, critically acclaimed contemporary craft exhibition Future Heritage, which she now curates annually as the central feature of Decorex. She is the curator of ‘Silver Speaks: Idea to Object a show of Contemporary British Silversmiths, at the V&A. Corinne is currently working on a new show ‘Bloomin’ Jewels’ that explores new ways of using the floral in  contemporary jewellery, opening at Contemporary Applied Arts at the end of April.  Corinne is a self-confessed jewelleryaholic. Corinne writes regularly for the Evening Standard’s Homes & Property, Blueprint and Crafts, is a reviewer for Country Life and has broadcast for both BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Front Row. Corinne has been a judge for many applied arts and design awards including the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize for Metalwork (2005). She has been a Trustee of Contemporary Applied Arts, is a guest lecturer at a number of arts universities and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2008 for services to design and craft. She is the Chair of the Critics’’ Circle Visual Arts & Architecture Section.

Christopher Thompson Royds grew up in the Oxfordshire countryside, in England.  He studied jewellery first at London Metropolitan University before finishing his studies with an MA at the Royal College of Art, London.  Since graduating he has been represented by Gallery Marzee, NL, and more recently Louisa Guinness Gallery, London.  His work has been exhibited in internationally, and is in several public collections: Crafts Council; UK, Koch Collection; Switzerland, MIMA; UK, Rotasa Collection Trust; USA, Royal College of Art, UK, Schmuck Museum, Pforzhiem; Germany. 


Friday 3rd February



Talk Space
Second Floor

Saatchi Gallery


Free with Collect Admission Ticket

This talk is part of Collect  - the international art fair for contemporary objects which is on from 2 - 6 February 2017