Talk: Christina Jansen, curator of The New Abstraction

October 2, 2017

Yesterday’s lunchtime saw Christina Jansen, Managing Director of the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, talk to Goldsmiths’ Fair exhibitors Michael Carberry , Angela Cork , and Rebecca de Quin.

Christina has curated the Fair’s New Abstraction exhibition, which features newly commissioned and recent work made since the start of the millennium by established, mid-career and emerging UK-based artist silversmiths including the three aforementioned makers. Christina touched upon various themes, including The New Abstraction itself, the exhibitors’ backgrounds and training, as well as making processes and techniques.


Christina began by saying: “What I love most about showcase is that you can see all the detail from every angle.” This is indeed correct as the mirrored New Abstraction display enables viewers to examine the objects thoroughly and up-close from all directions.


Further along the talk, Christina’s asked: “What keeps you going?”


Angela Cork, who uses traditional methods to create beautifully crafted objects of modern design, referred to making pieces exactly as planned. She claimed: “I like doing things over and over again”. Angela also referred to finding the work quite meditative yet also needing “time out” from time to time to relax. In her case, she finds swimming good to stretch overworked muscles and recharge batteries.


Michael Carberry, who originally studied sculpture before moving on to jewellery and silver/metalsmithing, has a rather different approach to making than Angela. Instead he focuses more on the process and doesn’t like to cover up what he’s done. As such his pieces are more fluid and their beauty lies in their roughness, form and texture. He said: “I love to play when I work.”


Finally, Rebecca de Quin, whose work is influenced by sculpture and architecture, and likes to explore form in new ways, said that her approach is somewhere “in between” that of the other two and what keeps her going is both a combination of play and control.

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