200 years of Birmingham’s jewellery-making activity highlighted in new exhibition
17th April 2013
A unique exhibition highlighting Birmingham’s past and present jewellery-making activity will open in the city’s Museum of the Jewellery Quarter this weekend.
Regenerated showcases the work of three Birmingham-based leading contemporary designer makers. Over the course of the exhibition the artists will respond to the perfectly preserved historic ‘Smith & Pepper’ jewellery factory which forms the heart of the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Vyse Street, Hockley. These responses will take the form of new work and thought-provoking interventions which visitors to the museum will be able to look out for.
When the proprietors of the Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firm decided to retire in 1981 they ceased trading and locked the door, unaware they would be leaving a time capsule for future generations. Tools were left strewn on benches; grubby overalls were hung on the coat hooks; and dirty teacups were abandoned alongside jars of marmite and jam on the shelf. This time capsule factory is now a remarkable museum, which tells the story of the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage.
As well as interacting with the workshop, the three contemporary makers taking part in the exhibition will also showcase their work in the Museum’s temporary exhibition gallery. Cathy Miles creates delicate, highly detailed illustrations in metal which explore the identity of everyday objects. Silversmith Rajesh Gogna presents a series of sculptural vessels in response to the architecture of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Miranda Sharpe creates jewellery, bowls and wall works which combine a fascination for the natural word with contemporary silversmithing techniques and industrial enamelling processes.
Regenerated opens this Saturday, April 20 and will run until next January. Admission to the temporary exhibition gallery to see the contemporary work is free. Site admission, including a tour of the Smith & Pepper factory and further displays as part of Regenerated, is charged. Please check the website for prices and opening times: http://www.bmag.org.uk/museum-of-the-jewellery-quarter
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