The theme of this year’s Goldsmiths’ Fair is ‘The Art of Collecting’, focusing on five collectors of contemporary jewellery and silver. They are patrons in the true sense, as they share their knowledge and enthusiasm as Ambassadors for Goldsmith’s Fair. Their stories are captured in a film commissioned specially for the Fair, giving an insight into what has inspired and influenced their collecting habit. As well as this, highlights from their collections are featured in a special exhibition in the entrance of Goldsmiths’ Hall, curated by Janice Hosegood – the display asks what drives individuals to collect, referencing emotional connection to particular objects, and how they can trigger and represent memories or mark a certain occasion. It includes personal objects to better understand the collection, like a jewellery box that contains one collector’s pieces, and images of their home.
The collections demonstrate a human concern and interest in craftsmanship; a connection to the maker of the work. Function also plays a part in collecting jewellery and silver, whether it be the ability to represent your personality through statement jewellery, or to celebrate using ceremonial silver objects. Robert and Suzette Hayes, featured in both the film and display note that use and enjoyment play an important role when choosing what to purchase or commission. Focused mainly on beakers from master silversmiths (pictured here), they deliberately choose objects that tie in to everyday life.