John Moore, Contemporary Jewelry without Borders
Uncategorically John Moore
On my recent trip to London I caught up with John Moore, winner of the Goldsmiths’ Company Award for his “Lacewing Verto” necklace. The award is given by the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council to the work demonstrating the highest standard of creative design and originality.
The necklace was a private commission and I was privileged to witness the client discovering the piece for the first time — it was a moment full of anticipation on both sides; a moment that cemented a relationship between the artist and the wearer. John observes that “just as a puppet comes to life when it is picked up, something magical happens when a person puts on a piece of jewellery. Like the scales of a fish or the feathers of a bird, the jewellery becomes a natural extension of the body, especially when there is perfect chemistry between the jewellery and the wearer. To work directly with someone and create a bespoke piece of jewellery is without doubt the best opportunity to explore this symbiotic relationship.”
He is not too bothered about categories, preferring a kind of polyamorous relationship with multiple artistic fields. He is currently collaborating with a lighting designer, a classical composer and a choir. His work was brought to life in a ballet piece which perfectly fits his core concept of articulated and mobile jewelry. Admire this magnificent video of the dancer and the necklace. Pure emotion.
“My fascination with dance, which I pursued into my mid teens, has never left me and movement remains an important element in my work. The objects I create are inanimate and lifeless, but they come to life with the movement of the body, like a mask or a puppet. I had long dreamt of capturing the movement of my pieces that a still photograph does not convey.”
For John, the wider the divide in creative disciplines, the more interesting the collaboration and skills exchanged.
With that in mind, I asked John to select his favourite works from the recent Collect exhibit at the Saatchi gallery. As you will see, there is very little jewelry — but John is fascinated by all sorts of other disciplines. So here it is, in his own words.
Adi Toch, Silver vessels
I admire Adi's work for it’s personality and excellent craftsmanship. The interior vortices remind me of a portal into another world. Adi told me how she names to her pieces like they were pets, such as Spouty or Pouty.
Bian Xiaondong, Raindrops, porcelain
This series of porcelain vessels in pastel colours caught my eye because I could not work out how they were made. The material is so very thin and fragile, like eggshell, which adds to their beauty.
Charlotte Mary Pack, 100 Elephants in 24 hours, clay
This was by far one of the best pieces in the whole show. As well as being visually stunning its purpose was to share the shocking statistic that an estimated 100 elephants are killed per day for their ivory. It’s wonderful that Charlotte is using her craft in this way. Her work was documented in a fantastic video.
Claire Lindner, Node No3, stoneware
These sculptural pieces by Claire Lindner are just so wonderfully playful and very distinctive. There is something a little grotesque about their globular shapes, as though they could slither away. The application of the coloured pigment cleverly gives the illusion of light coming from different angles. Perhaps not everybody’s cup of tea but I think they’re fab.
Janine Partington, Stools, leather
I met Janine many years ago on the craft scene and it is fascinating to see how her work has moved forward. These beautiful leather stools with their oval shape and peppered so precisely with her carved marks, were part of an installation called Marking Time. She created it to capture fragments of memory that she lost when her father had dementia.
Jin Eui Kim, Spherical form, earthenware
Jin’s incredible pieces always draw me in. They are so beautifully made and quite mesmeric. He must have the steadiest hand to paint these stripes so accurately and I just love the subtlety between the shades of grey. They are extremely bold and yet quiet. The blue rings on the top here are like ripples on the surface of water.
Liv Blavarp, Necklace, wood
I have been a huge fan of Liv’s work for many years and I was thrilled to see this necklace at Collect this year. The influence of nature is extremely strong. Her use of colour is exquisite and I love how the catch is such a major feature. I hope to own a piece someday.
Lynne MacLachlan, 3D printed polymer
Lynne is among a number of artists now working with 3D printing and I love how she is really exploiting the process to create forms that would otherwise be impossible to make by hand. The use of repetition and strong colour is right up my street. I really enjoy the way different colours emerge with more intensity as you move around the pieces.
Peter Ting, Porcelain
I had never seen Peter Ting’s work before and I was totally blown away by the incredible craftsmanship and mastery of the material. The flowers have the most amazing delicacy and fragility. They seem almost real, just without colour. Heavenly.
Wonseok Jung, The Bird
Wonseok’s birds hung beautifully in the stairwell of the Saatchi Gallery. Their steampunk, mechanical aesthetic with the bare bulbs beneath was in contrast to their slow and lifelike movement as they appeared to soar in an imaginary thermal column, their shadows elongating then retracting on the surrounding walls.