Everyday imperfections celebrated at new Modern Life exhibition


Everyday imperfections celebrated at new Modern Life exhibition

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A new jewellery exhibition dedicated to 'everyday imperfections' opens at the Gill Wing Gallery in Islington, London this weekend featuring designers well known for their unique and thought-provoking perspectives.

Modern Life, launching on Saturday 13th January and Sunday 14th January,  celebrates prosaic everyday objects and routines, such as walking to work in the sunshine, squashed coffee cups and even cigarettes, incorporating the designer's unique take on their subject. It is about appreciating what already exists, the imperfect, the ordinary, explained Jade Mellor, a member of the Gill Wing design team.

"It's not about dramatic changes, vowing to be better, cleaner, healthier or trying to live up to an impossible ideal. Modern Life for 2018 is about being thankful for your home, wherever it may be, because you have one. 

"Being thankful rather than guilty for your bad habits because you have the freedom to indulge them. Finding beauty and humour in everyday situations."

Six jewellers known for their unique work investigating Modern Life in different ways have been selected to exhibit including Jonathan Boyd, who won the Goldsmiths’ Fair 2017 (Week One) Best New Design Award for Weeds.

Akiko Kurihara-Tokyo's collection uses precious metals in a playful way in conjunction with everyday items (see his cigarette below). Recreating items from daily life, such as boobs and bombs, cigarettes and  'self medication', she believes her collection is an exploration of the human spirit.

“I expect that humor and wit in my work would connect me to the person wearing my piece, as well as to people seeing the piece,” says Akiko Kurihara-Tokyo.

Corrina Goutos from New York/Hamburg takes discarded items found in the street to symbolise the lifestyle of the “selfie generation” such as used coffee cups and flattened fast food packaging. 

Described as the un-filtered truth behind the perfect images, the items are cast in metal using recycled silver and metals from other found objects like aluminium hubcaps, melted in Goutos' own foundry in the rural outskirts of Hamburg. Almost all of her work is inspired and manufactured by 21st Century human waste.

“Todays Trash is Tomorrow’s Gold”, claims German designer Christoph Ziegler, a passionate recycler. who collects plastic trash washed up on Greek holiday beaches, flea markets, or wherever he finds it, to use in place of bones, teeth and shells for his concentric 'Broom Brooches'.

Holly O'Hanlon's compositions focus on the mundane details in our surroundings, using slate and steel layers that are textured and marked in the style of torn and weather worn signs and posters.

“Framing the unseen and relocating it on the body, giving a new mantle to the unseen and unappreciated,” said Holly.

Scottish jeweler Jo Garner is a new graduate of the Royal College of Art in 2017 having already worked for 10 years as a jeweler in Scotland. Her interest lies in observing people who are making strong political views public.

“Badges create a public display of our affiliations and serve to bolster our feelings of connectedness and belonging whilst asserting pride in your associations," she explained.

"We are living through times of extreme disconnect and division in terms of our political allegiances thus making the accessories we wear even more loaded.  My Visa application badges look particularly at government categorisation and how that affects our sense of belonging.  Statements and questions taken from UK Visa and refugee applications, designed to categorise us. Dividing us by age, income, country of birth, sex etc they group us in a way which is purely factual, emotionless and yet poignant."

"Every morning on my way to work I walk past the sunrise over Lidl and it is beautiful", comments Jonathan Boyd summing up the essence of Modern Life."

A senior tutor in jewellery & metalwork at the Royal College of Art, Jonathan Boyd explores how language and environment overlap and how the ways in which the city and our surroundings shape and define us. His largest project to date has been the Medals and memorabilia he designed for the 2014 Commonwealth games, seen by over 2 million people.


Kate Laven


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