New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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Traditional craftsmanship and cutting edge design at its best, the Designer Jewellers' Group will be celebrating their 45th anniversary at the New Ashgate Gallery in September.
From the Bauhaus inspired designs of Petra Bishai, and Emma Farquharson to the naturalistic influences apparent in the work of Annie Ruthven-Taggart and Christina Hirst. Etching and paper pressing feature in the patterned surfaces of Jill Newbrook and Georgina Taylor and vibrant colour from Ute Sanne and Harriet St Leger using rich gold, stones and enamel. Plastic as a precious material inspires Shelby Fitzpatrick and Sarah Macrae and Ulli Kaiser incorporating unusual materials such as antique beads, fur and paper.
History of the Designer Jewellers' Group
The Designer Jewellers' Group started in 1976 between a small group of jewellers eager to showcase and market original work and to promote the best of studio jewellery to the public. Back then there were few outlets for contemporary jewellery and the group were the first group to show at the Goldsmiths Fair in 1977. All members of the Group work for the mutual benefit of the whole, as well as each member having an individual approach to design and their own original creative 'voice'.
Since the creation of the group exhibitions have taken place worldwide, including at the Goldsmiths' Centre, Liberty's, Harvey Nichols, the Cecilia Colman gallery and internationally in Japan, Dubai and the USA. Starting in 1984, a collaboration between the DJG and the Barbican Arts Centre developed into a regular and very popular bi-annual event, continuing for 32 years until 2016. Recently the group can be found at Christmas at the home of the London Livery Company, The Worshipful Company of Salters in London.
Petra's jewellery is designed to stimulate attention, to attract the daring and allow the wearer to interact within their environment. She explores the concept of attraction and defence in respect of life in a large city: her jewellery is a response to questions of adaptation and interaction.
The spines of the creeping devil cactus form an array of starbursts; from each dagger-like central spine twenty smaller spines fan out in all directions. The pattern provides the maximum shield for the plant: the spines fend off predators and also shade the skin from the sun. An explosion of petals forming a radiating pattern is designed to capture attention: the key to the plant's survival is attraction and defence. Decoration becomes function: the plant adapts to its environment using pattern, scent and colour as lures, and at the same time creates a barrier through the use of sharp spines.