THE V&A BOLLINGER JEWELLERY GALLERY
A RECENT ACQUISITION OF PENDENT OF THE HIDDEN WORLDS*
In 1984 I was invited to make a one man exhibition at the V&A Jewellery Gallery by the then curator Anna Summers Cox. She was interested in focussing on my work with hand engraved and anodised Niobium. Although use of its cousin Titanium in jewellery was well known, the colouring and use of Niobium was and has remained unusual. From that event the Museum purchased the peacock blue / green drop earrings**. These are beautifully illustrated in the latest book on the Collection “Jewells and Jewellery” by present Curator Clare Phillips.
At the end of last year with the generosity of Mr & Mrs J Gestetner the Museum have acquired perhaps one of my best pieces “Pendent of the Hidden Worlds”. Being some 35 years apart they don’t perhaps at first sight have much in common however there is a significant link between the two pieces, in that both are concerned with Light and Illusion.
The colour of the Earrings is produced by light refraction i.e. there is no actual colour present. What we see occurs because of a thin transparent film produced by passing an electric current through the piece in an anodic bath. Light passing through this film is refracted creating wonderful effects. ( rather like oil on water ) Thus the perceived colour is in fact an illusion like butterfly wing. There is no pigmented colour there, yet we see quite clearly the vivid peacock hues.
This recent Pendent explores the capacity of silver to reflect light. Here two mirror polished surfaces one white and one gilded are placed opposite each other and reflect to infinity. Thus what we see is a reflection and so despite it’s being strikingly evident can only be seen when looked at from an angled view. As the wearer moves this hidden world is revealed or not with the wearer's movements. However it has no substance, yet it creates a hidden golden world. This world is merely a reflection made of light. Or is it? If the metal is unpolished this world would not be there – so how substantial is it? Indeed does it have any thickness at all?
If something is made with light is it there or not there? What happens at night? Thus what is reality and what is illusion?
The Jewellery Gallery has been closed for refurbishment and reopened on April 11th. The new Gallery Star is Queen Victoria’s Coronet designed
by Prince Albert around 1840. It is beautifully displayed and looks magnificent in the Jewellery Gallery of the Museum named after them.
I hope you will go along and enjoy the finest Jewellery Collection anywhere on Earth and my modest contribution to it.
* Hand Engraved Silver, part Rhodium Plated, part Gilded. ** Hand Engraved Niobium, 18ct gold.
GOLDSMITHS FAIR 2018
I am exhibiting from 25th Sept to 30th Sept 2018 - stand number 61 - in the front Drawing Room -
All opening times / talks / details of location are on their website.
Alan is in process of writing two books on different complimentary aspects of his work
This is very unusual approach indeed I think it is unique within our subject.
The first Book to be called IN SEARCH OF THE BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS is about Alans personal experience and approach to the Creative Process. The stories it generates, The Alchemical process of change one goes through. How all these things contribute to a particular way of seeing and looking which are vital to the inner changes that must take place in order to grow and develop. How this affects the work one does for it is a two way process.
The second book is entitled “ A LIFE OF ITS OWN” the focusses on the work itself, the pieces produced, whether for commission or for exhibition. This will be a large square format colour illustrated book the concept being that they form a pair. The book is primarily visual but will contain stories about the works, how they came about, the meaning to clients and the exploration and development of techniques. A chance for the work to speak for itself.
I envisage the 2 books being in the region of 30cm square and forming an opposing pair, together creating a whole.
If anyone is interested in the project please get in touch through : contact me. I would like get some idea of potential interest / possible publishers / distribution / together with any relevant personal experience which might be useful to the project.