Joanna Witcher


Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery
12th November 2015 – 28th January 2016

Image: Joanna Witcher 'Urban Degeneration Brooch'







Go on an atmospheric journey to the far flung future frontiers of contemporary jewellery and metalsmithing….Be captivated by a cosmos where curious enamelled critters scuttle, inky black geodes split to reveal shimmering interiors and space ship shaped brooches lift off…

Curator Kath Libbert who selected the eleven artists says ‘I always look for individuality and a fresh approach and the work of this year’s graduates is sure to surprise and stimulate! I’m delighted to provide a launch pad for these young artists who I believe have what it takes to develop successful careers.’ This year’s selection destined for meteoric success is:

Maliha Khan, Glasgow School of Art, explores the concept of visual escapism crafting mysterious blackened balsa wood brooches and pendants breaking open to reveal bursts of colour.

Rosie Clayden, University of Brighton, is fascinated by the intricacies of jewellery. Her exquisitely crafted series of modern day ‘Poison Rings’ with tiny hinges and hidden openings, some also containing an Antidote in case of a change of heart, are darkly, dangerously intriguing.

Genevieve Howard, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, a musician and a jeweller, has devised a way to translate her favourite music into tactile, three dimensional wearable neckpieces and bracelets. A graphic notation from scores of music is laser cut from Japanese paper and carefully assembled to mirror the sequence of each score.

Elisavet Messi, University for the Creative Arts, Rochester, starts with a single strand of wire and using her own specially invented tools and processes she distorts and compresses over thirty feet of silver or gold wire into each of her geometrically structured rings.

Megan Falconer, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, investigates and interprets the natural decay and erosion of the landscape. Using rocks from areas of natural erosion, she crafts her own hammer heads which are in turn used to raise, planish and texture silver vessels, thus creating a unique connection between the found object, the tool it makes and each of her vessels.

Melissa Morgan, Hereford College of Art, makes wearable ‘sci-fi’ sculptures for the body influenced by the aesthetics of the 70s and 80s. Working in metal and vitreous enamel, her series of etched brooches entitled ‘Close Encounters’, reflect spontaneity in design, coupled with a detailed figurative narrative.

Mark Newman, National College of Art and Design, Dublin has created a series of dark and brooding brooches, ‘Harbouring Memory’, inspired by memory loss and the yearning to connect with the past. He uses the visual metaphors of distorted net patterns and weathered enamel to reference the fading and loss of memory.

Ieva Mikutaite, Glasgow School of Art, loves exploring kinetics and incorporating elements of movement, transformation, repetition and multiplication into her playful and engaging jewellery collection. She aims to transport the wearer back to their childhood: a time when things seem strange and curious, a time when almost everything is a game.

Jocelyn He, School of Jewellery, Birmingham is inspired by nature and plants and creates otherworldly three dimensional seed pod brooches. Fine filaments of steel encase hand water coloured paper petals in delicate pastel shades to create her exquisite feminine collection of jewellery.

Joanna Witcher, Middlesex University, London. Her collection ‘Urban Degeneration’ features aspects of growth or decay and sometimes the correlation between the two. Her dramatic deeply etched blackened brass and rubber neckpieces and bangles make a bold urban punk statement!

Beatrice Wall, Hereford College of Art has crafted a collection of beetles that look like they could exist on Mars…. curious, cute critters with shiny enamelled carapaces and startling haircuts!!

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