Artists in Residence Exhibition

Join us for our Private View and Celebration

We are delighted to host Transitions an exhibition of work by the School of Jewellery’s Artists in Residence. We would like to invite you to join us on Tuesday 24th April from 6 – 8pm to celebrate their collective achievements.

Transitions | Monday 23rd April – Thursday 10th May

‘We, as Artists in Residence have been given the opportunity to share our individual paths of development and learning.  As we transition from tried and tested techniques to new skills, transition from a modern skill set to a polishing of or rediscovery of old skills.  This exhibition is a celebration of our collective success during our journey.’ School of Jewellery Artists in Residence 2018


Exhibiting Artists:

Sophie Beer, Cara Budd, Katie Dugmore, Kristy Fan, Mathew Gale, Stephanie Holt, Rachel Jones, Qiwei (Mervin) Liu, Andy Marriott, Vanessa Miller,  Katie Shirt, Chloe Slater, Timon Tio, Francesca Urciuoli, Joseph Westley

last1Splash2305 Matthew-Gale-AIR-transitions Timon-Tio-Relic-Bracelet-AIR-Transitions

About the programme:

The School of Jewellery Artist in Residence mentoring scheme runs for a full academic year. It offers access to the School of Jewellery’s outstanding facilities for the duration of the residency, in exchange for student support one day per week.  It is a fantastic opportunity to develop new work and technical skills in a creative environment, through collaboration with the AiR team and opportunity to engage with the rich and vibrant Jewellery Quarter community.

Talking Practice: Dr Alessandra Costanzo

Alessandra Costanzo

To accompany the underground theme of Subterranea, currently showing at Vitt Street Gallery, Talking Practice is delighted to welcome Dr Alessandra Costanzo to talk about the Irish landscape that yields the distinctive Connemara marble. All welcome, both for the talk itself and to join us for a glass of wine (or a soft drink) in the Vittoria Street Gallery afterwards.

1730-1830 | Tuesday 10 April 2018 | Lecture Theatre | School of Jewellery

Journey through the many shades of the Emerald Isle: a beginner’s guide to Irish jewels

Dr Alessandra Costanzo

This presentation will outline how Connemara’s breathtaking landscapes formed in deep geological time as the Earth’s crust responded to the movement of ancient continents and, more recently, by the sculpting action of glaciers. Images of bedrock geology will show that metamorphic and igneous rocks dominate. These bedrock varieties host a range of gemstones, the most notable being the Connemara Marble that has been quarried and fashioned in western Ireland since the 18th century. It possesses at least 10 different hues due to combinations of minerals such as serpentine, calcite and dolomite. Its renowned use as an ornamental stone in the interiors of buildings worldwide and in Irish-themed jewellery is highlighted.


Subterranea | Monday 19th March – Friday 13th April 2018

What lies beneath is the subterranean. It’s the dark, the buried, the out of sight. In their individual ways each of the members of Subterranea is engaged with the buried, the stuff that lies beneath, be it literally or metaphorically.

Subterranea is an ongoing collaborative conversation between Nuala Clooney, Rachel Darbourne, Bridie Lander and Drew Markou. Together they explore the overlapping processes and shared research territory in their individual practices. Alongside displaying work the artists explore how to reveal the usually hidden conversations and processes of both the individual creative journeys and the development of the collaborative practice.

The audience is invited to participate in the opening and closing events and engage with the work. Interaction by audience, participants and the artists throughout the time of the exhibition will result in a continual evolution of the space, encouraging new narratives and interpretations.

Rather than seeking to show a concluded body of work, the show puts emphasis on the process, the journey, revealing the normally unseen side of an artists’ practice and so poses the question is anything ever finished?

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Consuming surfaces | Thursday 22nd March 6pm – 8pm 

Subterranea invite you to take part in their opening event on Thursday 22nd March 6 – 8pm. This performative and edible event explores the notion of a surface as a continuous being with neither inside or outside.

During the evening, biting, chewing and consuming, normally a private activity that takes place inside the mouth’s cavity, becomes externalised and public. Performing bodies and tools taking on the role of the mouth as they bite into a table consisting of a pink mucous membrane. The audience will be served sweet mouthfuls of this continuous surface, a surface that becomes’ passed on and into others and has a new form of existence.

The resulting piece will become a new video work that will then be projected onto the remaining table throughout the course of the exhibition.



Closing Event | Thursday 12th April 6pm – 8pm

Join Subterranea for an intimate and interactive walk around the exhibition with the artists. We seek to provide you with a deeper sensory and tactile experience of the work on show by offering you an opportunity to taste and consume a selection of edible, sumptuous and sweet morsels, each inspired by the artists’ work.



Rachel Darbourne  taps into our childish affections and the recesses and transgressions that may linger there. The familiar cuddly toys, the transitional objects are distorted and transmuted into uncanny, titillating tactile furries that tickle at the boundaries of innocence and other – the stuff that lies just below consciousness. Rachel is a maker, what she makes reflects her perceptions of and confusions about the world, the people in it, the politics, the psychology, the philosophy, and the seemingly existential predisposition to violence. She is Pathway Leader for Jewellery at Plymouth College of Art.


Nuala Clooney  is a cross disciplinary artist who boldly recasts the body, her body, creating part body, part objects that lie in the space of self and other. She explores the sensuous fluids that interplay and intermingle self and other, the dark viscous spaces between felt and feeling. Nuala is currently undertaking a year-long residency at Grand Union Birmingham developing the experiential and performative aspects of her practice. Alongside her studio practice, Nuala works in collaboration with other artists. Current projects include ‘Expanded Intimacy’ developed with Kaye Winwood and a new film collaboration with Tereza Stehlikova.


Drew Markou creates forms that at once look futuristic and archaeological artefacts, unlocked from the earth they were cast in. While his process is methodical the outcomes rely on a certain happenstance, a synchronistic event and the final outcome enticingly unpredictable until they are revealed after the sand-casting process. The resulting artefacts aim to explore notions of belonging, purpose and existence. Drew is a lecturer based at Birmingham School of Jewellery. His current research seeks to examine the synonymic links between creation within religion and that within his own studio practice.


Bridie Lander through the use of black, black glass mirror, black enamel, and a menagerie of other material hints at the mystic; the alchemistic; the dark arts. The black reflective surfaces play with the parallels of the ubiquitous black glass of our mediated technological times with the notions of scrying or Claude glass. Bridie is a senior lecturer at the School of Jewellery interested in the effect of digital technology on material culture, she draws analogies between studio practice and alchemic process.


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