Kath Libbert Gallery
Until 8th November 2015

Karin Roy Andersson










Karin Roy Andersson - Catching Big Fish, Red Bracelet

Kath's Autumn show  - one of the most important in her calendar – is as ambitious as we have come to expect. This year, it's tempting to write that it's all about root vegetables, like Swedes, and there is certainly a righteous flavour of sustainability about the content, but this would be doing a disservice to the artists, who covered many more natural sources and styles between them.  Mostly graduates from Stockholm and Gothenberg, they concentrate on a range of non-precious materials, comparable in some ways to the recent show at Ruthin Crafts Centre, 'Not Too Precious'.  The work at Saltaire is similarly professional and well-crafted and covers sizeable pieces made in metals, enamels, wood, textiles, and fish-skins.

Amongst the more striking and experimental  jewellery here are extraordinary brooches and a necklace by Catarina Hallzon, a fisherwoman who tans the skins of the fish she has just eaten, preserving the natural sheen and subtle colouring.  Mia Larsson uses collected mussel and oyster shells for her jewellery. Then there is Elin Flognman who makes big gilded potato pendants.  Better known in UK is Marta Mattson with her beetles discovered lurking in glittering geodes, but many of the less familiar artists show handsome, colourful work based on natural forms of flowers, butterflies and leaves.

At the opening of the exhibition we heard a talk on the exhibition by Inger Wastberg, an advisor on Art Jewellery to the National Museum in Stockholm, and who has written  the definitive book on Swedish art jewellery.  An insatiable collector, she had brought with her several pieces by the artists shown in Saltaire, and others not in the exhibition.  A refreshing exhibition, giving us a chance to examine a strong trend in Swedish jewellery now.

Inger's book, Contemporary Swedish Art Jewellery, was published in 2013 by Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing AB, pb, at £33.  IBSN 978-9187543012.


Muriel Wilson