Artist in Jewellery by David Watkins

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A retrospective exhibition of British artist David Watkins' jewellery opens tomorrow at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Called Artist in Jewellery, a Retrospective View (1972-2010), the exhibition will showcase 68 pieces of jewellery by Watkins, ranging from miniature to large-scale wearable pieces.

Watkins's early jewellery designs featured minimal geometric patterns and were influenced by imagery of space objects and his work as a model maker for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The exhibition will run from 23 February until 26 September and will take place at the Whiteley Silver Galleries in the V&A. Entrance is free.

All photos are by David Watkins.

Here is some more information from the V&A Museum:


David Watkins: Artist in Jewellery, 23 February – 26 September 2010
A display exploring the work of renowned contemporary jeweller David Watkins will open at the V&A this February. Watkins’ jewellery is characterised by shifts in techniques and materials and the display will show the full breadth of his work from minimal sculptural pieces to vibrant and improvisational compositions in form and colour, to large-scale objects intended to interact with the wearers’ body. Watkins began his career as a jazz pianist and sculptor and created model spacecrafts for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. His early work echoes this aesthetic and pieces on show will include a silver and white enamel necklace and brooch that evoke space probes and the moon landing station.

The display will focus on Watkins’ innovative use of materials that range from paper to gold to industrial materials such as steel, aluminium and titanium. It is organised chronologically moving from his early monochrome creations through to his eighties work inspired by jazz music that is often characterised by steel frames that enclose the wearer in layered structures coloured with neoprene. During the nineties Watkins’ work was shaped by his return to working with gold and the techniques of fine goldsmithing and several pieces of more pastoral work, influenced by nature and simple geometry, will be on show.

Watkins was an early pioneer of computer assisted design and this is an area that has increasingly interested him in his more recent work. Several examples will be shown including computer assisted reconfigurations of earlier works and his latest pieces that utilise ‘virtually real’ rendered models to create bracelets and broaches in bold modern geometrics

About the Whiteley Silver Galleries
The V&A houses the national collection of English silver and a greater range of objects in silver than any other public collection worldwide. The Whiteley Silver Galleries opened at the V&A in 2002 to display highlights from the collections within their artistic, social, historical and geographical context. On display are more than 3,500 objects ranging from 1400 to the present day. Among the treasures are the Ashburnham centrepiece from the mid-18th century and an 18th-century ewer and basin created by great French silversmith Elie Pacot, which once belonged to Britain’s great military leader John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

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Posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010 at 5:37 pm by Antonia Anastasiadi. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • nnn

    I would totally wear that first one. Its nice to see how model making for space odyssey ties in with these pieces.

  • http://kateshore.com Melbourne Jeweller

    Love his work – wish it was here to see!

  • Matt

    Looking at the 4th image and the last image reminds me of a bike rack my dad used to have that attached to the boot of the car. In a way it was like jewellery for the car. Although it had function where this does not. But why not? If you are going to have that much wire tied around your neck you could hang some of your wardrobe off it. It may be a good place to hang a friend’s coat on a balmy summer evening

  • Kristopher Adams

    Beautiful work.

  • bebo

    the 3rd and 4th, amazing.

  • lucille d

    love the work,so unique yet so tranquil