Radical artist jewellers of the late 1960s and 70s vigorously rejected the idea that jewellery should be considered ‘precious’ simply because of the materials of which it was made. Today, the use of a huge variety of materials in jewellery is far more accepted, but economic pressures are putting that freedom of artistic expression at potential risk as people revert to traditionally ‘valuable’ materials for ‘safety’. Not Too Precious challenges preconceptions about ‘non-precious’ materials by encouraging us to consider ‘accrued value’: what talented makers bring to their work through their ideas and skill.
The selected artists, including gallery artists Märta Mattsson and Carina Shoshtary (above), currently work in the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and create innovative, skilfully-made jewellery that is insightful and culturally resonant. Sometimes poignant, sometimes witty, their work communicates at many levels. It is above all honest and – for want of a better term – not too precious.
Not Too Precious
National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny, Ireland
January 22 – March 30, 2016