Talking Practice

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Talking Practice, Spring 2017

Bookings for our series of Talking Practice lectures are via EventBrite and take place in the Lecture Threate at the School of Jewellery from 5pm

  • Thursday 26th January – Jon Privett Book Here
  • Tuesday 31st Januray – Anne Mette Kildegaard Larsen Book Here
  • Thursday 2nd February – In conversation with Jessa Fairbrother.  Book Here
  • Tuesday 14th February  – UK premier of  The Path of Inspiration with Kay Alexander, and Russian entrepreneur, Alexander Komarov Book Here
  • Thursday 23rd February – Joanne Horton Chemistry for Couture Book Here
  • Thursday 2nd March – Sabina Stent’s talk Intimate Jewels: Surrealism, Fetish and Fairytales Book Here
  • Tues 14 March – John Wigley & David Cheeseman Talking Practice in association with The Exchange Book Here
  • Tuesday 21st March  – John Grayson Parallel Practices
  • Thurs 23 March & Thurs 6 AprilMade in the Middle Meet the Maker

We’ve got a packed programme of Talking Practice lectures this term, and I like to think there’s something for everyone there.  First off, our friends at West Dean College are treating us to another of their fascinating insights into the world of conservation, with a talk from Jon Privett about the colours and patinas that develop on the surfaces of artefacts over time (‘Patina, colours and the meanings of ‘old’’, 5pm Thurs 26 Jan).  Patinas contribute to the way in which we read objects as ‘old’, and – as such – present something of a challenge for conservators.  This is core stuff for the Horology students at the School of Jewellery, but the focus on what the objects we make will be like in a century’s time will provide food for thought here for all makers at the School.

Anne Mette Kildegaard Larsen joins us on an Erasmus exchange from the Copenhagen School of Jewellery and Technology, and will provide an insight into the jewellery education that is offered at her institution (5pm Tues 31 Jan).  We’re familiar with the very traditional apprenticeship that the trainees at Georg Jensen serve, as – for a couple of years – small groups have visited the School of Jewellery to develop their design skills (not something covered within their apprenticeship).  Given Anne Mette’s role as a lecturer of technology, it’ll be interesting to see how the education her institution offers differs from that of Georg Jensen!

Jessa Fairbrother’s show – Armour Studies (regarding skin) – is now up at the still-very-fresh-faced Vittoria Street Gallery, and the Talking Practice event with her (‘In conversation with Jessa Fairbrother’, 5pm Thurs 2 Feb) promises to open up some interesting territory.  Zoe (Vitt St Gallery’s Event Coordinator) and I met Jessa at the Beyond Jewellery symposium that complemented Zoe’s FlockOmania2 show at the Parkside Gallery last year.  At Beyond Jewellery, Jessa spoke about her Parisian’s grandmother’s exotic and slightly terrifying presence in her childhood; her show is similarly direct and personal, focused on images of Jessa herself, punctured by pin-pricks to produce a constructed image that contains elements of both photography and craft, and raising questions about the role of portraiture and the body in contemporary art.  I’m delighted to be Jessa’s interlocutor for this event, and I’m really looking forward to it.  Do come and join in the conversation!

TV presenter, Kay Alexander, and Russian entrepreneur, Alexander Komarov, bring a touch of glamour to the School, as Valentine’s day marks the UK premier of their Alexander’s film, The Path of Inspiration (5pm Tues 14 Feb).  The film tells the story of Russian jewellery art and was filmed on location in Moscow, Simferopol (the capital of Crimea) and St Petersburg.  The project has been driven by Alexander, fuelled by his belief that the contribution Russian jewellery has made to the field of jewellery should be more widely know.  Kay and Alexander will discuss the film’s inception and production, and we will be treated to a showing of the film itself.

Like Jessa Fairbrother, Jo Horton’s practice is multi-disciplinary, as she combines metal and yarn to create garments.  She trained as an embroider/surface designer at the University of Central England (the name for BCU prior to 2007) and, when she started working with electroforming technologies as part of her PhD, she came back to work with Les Curtis in the School of Jewellery’s plating laboratory.  Her talk – ‘Chemistry for Couture’ (5pm Thurs 23 Feb) – will see her reflecting on the process she’s come to describe as metal horticulture, whereby the meal elements of her garments are grown in the lab in seemingly organic formations.

Sabina Stent’s talk – ‘Intimate Jewels: Surrealism, Fetish and Fairytales’ (5pm Thurs 2 Mar) – will focus on women Surrealists and their rather overlooked contribution to the Surrealist art movement.  Sabina received her PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2011, but (to my slight shame) it was a series of tweets about foot fetishism and the connections between Schiaparelli and the Cinderella tales that caught my eye, resulting in this talk.  Can’t wait!

We’ve got a couple of further dates (23 Mar and 6 Apr) in which Talking Practice and the Vittoria Street Gallery are teaming up, to give students, staff and visitors the opportunity to meet the makers exhibiting as part of the Made in the Middle show, a selling, touring show that has been a key element of Craftspace’s artistic programme for the last 30 years.  Vittoria Street Gallery’s sister space – the Parkside Gallery – is hosting the show proper; Vittoria Street Gallery will host the selling exhibition, and on these dates makers will be available to tell us about their inspiration or their making processes, and to chat with visitors over a glass of wine.

The final talk of the term is from Talking Practice stalwart, John Grayson (5pm Tues 21 Mar).   John will talk about his Parallel Practices residency, carried out at Kings College, London.  Here, the Craft Council’s brainchild is that craft makers collaborate with medical professional to share skills.  This residency clearly stretched John’s coding and electronic engineering abilities, but…well, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, huh?   Find out what he got from the project in this round up – a must see for BA(Hons) Jewellery Design and Related Products students (particularly the second years, who have the opportunity to work with John on an enamelling project in the summer term).

If you would be interested in contributing to our Talking Practice programme then contact Sian Hindle  (