Memories are Made of This


Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London W1K



Open to the Public



Memories Are Made Of This

Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London W1K

23 November 2023 - 2 March 2024

 Zoe Arnold work in progress

How do we mark important events or people in our lives?  How can we do this in a meaningful, personal and contemporary way? These are the questions posed by curator Corinne Julius in a new Jewellery exhibition Memories Are Made Of Thisat Sarah Myerscough Gallery.

Lin Cheung / works as part of her 'Keep' + 'New Page' series

There is a long history of commemorative jewellery from love tokens, including the symbolism of different gemstones to mourning and funeral jewellery, as well as jewellery that celebrates events, from the political to the sporting. Yet somehow this tradition has become lost. Memories Are Made Of This aims to reinvent and reinterpret this tradition. 

“It’s important that memories can be shared.” 

- Corinne Julius 

Corinne Julius has asked fifteen very varied contemporary makers to create three pieces of jewellery each, to commemorate or celebrate a person or event that is personal to them, be it sad or joyful. This might be celebrating a marriage, the birth of a child, the acquisition of a house or might commemorate a death or loss, or a particular political or cultural event. The resulting pieces are wearable sculptures that sit well on the body, creating a dialogue between wearer and viewer and each comes with its own method of display, so that the memories commemorated can always be visible. 

All 15 makers attended a tailor made seminar that took them on a tour of the jewellery gallery at the V&A and an afternoon at the Goldsmiths’ Company, handling objects from the archive and the Collection. That was followed by a talk on the history of love tokens, mourning, political and sporting commemorative jewellery. “The jewellers were fizzing with ideas, which they have expressed in a range of media from the precious to the mundane. The ideas however are all precious,” says Julius. “Today commemorative jewellery is unusual, but we hope to revive this historical tradition with a contemporary twist.” 

Mark Nuell brooch and earrings

The jewellers in the show are:

  • Zoe Arnold
  • Alice Biolo
  • Jonathan Boyd
  • Caroline Broadhead
  • Lin Cheung
  • Anna Gordon 
  • Maria Hanson
  • Maria Militsi
  • Kathie Murphy
  • Elihah Naghi Ganji 
  • Mark Nuell
  • Miles Robinson
  • Romilly Saumarez Smith 
  • Jessica Turrell
  • Silvia Weidenbach

Miles Robinson / Compilations

The jewellers worked with a range of media from precious stone and metal to resin, wood and glass and their memories vary. Zoe Arnold has created a brooch in the form of a tiny hand hung with memory charms and collected items in gold, oxidised silver, lime wood, antique coral, ebony, bronze, and a silver casting of fossilised shell. This is a memory of my childhood collecting small treasures.” says Arnold.  “Something I still do. “These moments are some of the happiest of my life, but I can make these hands tailored to an individual to include items relevant to them.”

Anna Gordon looks at how we each reinterpret memories of shared events differently. Her experience is based on being a twin with different memories of the same episode. She has created three pairs of brooches in silver, oxidised silver and gold leaf, each pair in its own oval gesso frame.

Mark Nuell’s brooch in gold with parti sapphires, commemorates his relationship with his father. “At the age of 8 or 9 years I would sit near my dad when he was hand mining sapphires. Tiny sapphires of all colours were shining on the surface, and I would collect these in an old sweet tin. It was my box of treasure. This is where my love affair with coloured gemstones started.”

This is the first jewellery show at the gallery, and we are so intrigued to show work on this personal scale. Wearable sculpture is an important and highly influential aspect of contemporary craft and we are delighted to be able to collaborate with Corinne to bring these makers to our audience and support jewellery craft and metalworking in Britain.” 

-  Sarah Myerscough 

Memories are Made of This runs from 23 November 2023 - 2 March 2024. 

Sarah Myerscough Gallery, 34, North Row, London, W1K 6DH