The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery – Gallery

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The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery

Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery Show

Drawing on work from around the world, Unexpected Pleasures at London’s Design Museum celebrates the work of contemporary jewellers who have challenged the conventions of jewellery design. This exhibition explores the essential meanings of jewellery: what we value and regard as precious, bypassing traditional perceptions and instead tracing the radical experiments of contemporary jewellers who have redefined jewellery design.

The exhibition explores how the contemporary jewellery movement, which started in the late 1970s, saw a radical rethinking of jewellery and its social context. New processes and experimentation questioned the relevance of precious materials and shifted the role of preciousness from financial value to personal association.

“Complex patterns”

Curated by jewellery designer and maker Dr. Susan Cohn, this exhibition offers a timely survey of contemporary jewellery and is presented through a number of themes: Worn Out – celebrating the experience of wearing jewellery, Linking Links – looking at the ways in which meaning and narratives are expressed in jewellery and A Fine Line – offering insight into the origins of contemporary jewellery today, highlighting key instigators of the contemporary jewellery movement.

The exhibition will feature prominent UK and international jewellers including Wendy Ramshaw, renowned for her complex geometric designs and Hans Stofer who trained in Precision Engineering and produces irreverent, intricate wire form jewellery, the avant-garde designs of Alexander Calder, Gijs Bakker’s conceptual adornments and Dorothea Pruhl’s delicate abstract pieces. The exhibition celebrates jewellery from the point of view of both the maker and the wearer. It considers the pleasures of wearing jewellery and the many meanings associated with jewellery which are at times unpredictable and, in turn, unexpected.

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