A little while ago, I took the chance to indulge myself and paid a visit to the Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery at the Design Museum, in Shad Thames. Ever since writing my very first critical essay piece on a whim, on modern jewellery design during my Foundation Year, I have had a soft spot for the subject. Consequently, when I realised that I would be able to see sets of Wendy Ramshaw rings and Peter Chang bracelets, I was so happy and nostalgic that I got into gear and travelled up before it finished showing!
Being near the end of its run, I was mostly by myself when admiring the pieces in what was as I have grown to look forward to, a beautifully displayed selection of work. Perhaps it is apt or just plain expected, but the layout and materials utilised to stage each Design Museum exhibition always remind me of why that area of design is somewhere I ultimately long to be working in. This was no exception.
As intended, I was truly impressed by the variety of materials used by modern artists and designers. Like any modern interpretation of a subject so ancient and culturally diverse as jewellery-making, the showcase made light work of demonstrating not only a revolution in media, but also concept.
For me, one of the stand out pieces in this respect was represented by photography, and depicted a ‘blister ring’ (the humour of which only dawns on me now as I type!).I would be fascinated to learn of any further reasonings behind this decision and shall one day do some research. This is assuming of course it was not Photoshop’ed- which was not specified on its tag, unlike some other photographic items.
I would highly recommend checking out the accompanying catalogue if possible, as it will give a far more comprehensive overview than my earmarking. And least I forget for this post, I finally managed to achieve my goal of seeing some beautiful Ramshaw and Chang pieces in person… and it only took 6 years! But were they worth waiting for? I’d like to think so, but whats next? Wearing some perhaps..?