“Matters of Life and Death” is a brand new exhibition that has just opened at the Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery and will be showing from now until 25th September 2011.

It is an exhibition that explores the responses of nine international jewellery artists to the proliferation of natural disasters and man-made destruction in our world.

Matters of Life and Death includes sculptural work, jewellery and film, curated in a way that makes religious, political, artistic and fashion statements asking questions about life and death, light and dark, sobriety and humour.

Sophie Hanagarth, this year’s winner of the Herbert Hofmann prize, the world’s most prestigious contemporary jewellery award, presents Trap, wrought iron bracelets that resemble wolf traps with sharp, articulated claws. Says Hanagarth, ‘They are jaws, dentures or mouths worn on the arm. They absorb us, eat us or suck us. By the mere act of putting on these bracelets, our hand is gobbled down, devoured, an extremity of the human body is captured.’ The pieces are brutally beautiful, surprisingly sensual and extremely wearable!

Agnes Larsson combines the unlikely yet elemental materials of carbon and horsehair to create dramatic neckpieces. Carbon is a basic material existing in all living things but which we also consider to be dead, burned and charred and horsehair is a natural material that has connections to the body and life. Agnes says, ‘In my pieces I see opposites like alive and dead, darkness and light, surface and depth, fragility and strength.’ 


Bernhard Lehner describes his jewellery as ‘symbolic disarmament’: weapons deconstructed – literally sawn apart - and then reformed as pieces of provacative jewellery, instruments of destruction transformed into desirable adornment.



But Matters of Life and Death isn’t all doom and gloom!  Jewellers have also been selected whose work is energetic, creative and joyful to lift the spirits including colourful post apocalyptic mosaic tree brooches by Samantha Queen and vibrant, creative avant garde work by Lina Peterson that injects a literal ray of sunshine.

Finally, humourous highlights courtesy of Akiko Kurihara whose playful punning pieces charm and engage and Peter Vermandere with gargoyle inspired pearl pins enigmatically titled ‘Emotions for the Advanced’.

Says curator Kath Libbert,
‘I wanted to curate an exhibition that reflects on destruction both natural and man-made, as this is a huge preoccupation in our world at the moment, but also an exhibition that explores the possibilities for regeneration and hope and humour. We’re inviting visitors to be photographed wearing a piece that moves, excites, or even revolts…and to record their response on our ever growing Chain of Thought which will become an integral part of the exhibition.’










Jewellers Linda Wear and Anna McDade attended the exhibition on its opening night and have shared their thoughts with us:

“There were some pieces that I really did like  - the mantrap bangles really amused me and the little figures with the pearl tongues were cute.  I found the disarmament jewellery to be very powerful.  There was a necklace that was made from the component parts of a revolver, and a neckpiece that was made from a scabbard that had been cut into separate pieces and hinged - all very thought provoking!”
Linda Wear

“ I really liked what I saw - the most inspiring pieces really for me were the forged iron work and 'upcycled' weaponry. There was a good mix of responses to the theme as well as some lovely work in the gallery generally - it's definitely worth a visit if you ever find yourself near Saltaire!”
Anna McDade

Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Salts Mill, Saltaire, Bradford BD18 3LA

Tel/Fax 01274 599790  Open Monday to Friday 10am – 5.30pm. Weekends 10am – 6pm. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     www.kathlibbertjewellery.co.uk

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