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Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Katy Gillam-Hull

Katy Gillam-Hull graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a BA in Contemporary Applied Arts in 2015, with a term spent studying metalwork at Oslo Academy of the Arts.

After graduation she completed a long-term residency with the Museums of St Albans that resulted in 3 installations over 3 years. She has also developed works for galleries and museums such as Ruthin Crafts Centre, Mint London and Clearwell Caves Museum. She also teaches jewellery making at Made by Ore studios in London.

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Jewellery & Metal (MA)

As a crafts artist Katy Gillam-Hull makes work fuelled by curiosity and informed by historical research and imagination alike. She predominantly works in precious metals often incorporating found objects. Whether she is working with a museum’s collection or her own finds from mudlarking she often considers the forgotten beauty or narrative of objects. In response she creates intricate pieces and art jewellery that intrigue the viewer, revealing this hidden past or preciousness and showing the found or historical item in a new and reverential light.

While studying at the RCA she is exploring her fixation with history and artefacts. This means asking questions about how artefacts are formed, how we construct history through narrative and what are the objects that carry these narratives.

I wonder what this is?
I wonder what this is?
Nothing in particular
Nothing in particular

Starting with research into a beloved collection of 19th century lace bobbins Gillam-Hull has been questioning how artefacts are formed and how they gather importance. This led on to an exploration of the construction of historical value by both individuals and institutions. Meanwhile she noticed the presence of multiple plaques and monuments on her commute and thought of them as a material expression of creating and communicating value. Plaques are usually very definitive and offer you an exact way that you should interpret what it has been placed on or who it is referencing. With her own plaques Gillam-Hull plays with subverting these certainties by using questions to make the viewer think twice about what they actually think of the context. They also rely on and draw attention to the assumptions of importance that the brass plaque creates due to its familiar visual language.

Medium:

Brass

Size:

15cmx5cm
London as palimpsest (2nd firing)
London as palimpsest (4th firing)

Palimpsest

noun

-       a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing.

-       something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.


London is made up of the sediment of structures layered atop each other through time, Victorian brick giving way to chrome and steel, Roman ruins breaking through like the ripple of crystal in a rock face while clusters of gravestones are gathered like inclusions in the stone. Just like a worn-away cliff face with clear lines and layers you can read the surfaces and structures of London, expect it is not sea air and waves that degrade here but property developers, pollution and lichen.

Just like the layering of London’s history this piece is the beginning of a material exploration in layering. Scrap silver has been reclaimed and melted into a new ingot, and all the impurities of the reworked silver are spread through the silver as it is rolled into a sheet. Etched designs taken from the streets of London are worked on to the surface. The flaws in the silver are then showcased and drawn out by a layer of enamel that changes colour each time it is fired. Worn back and sanded, it is left with the familiar surface of a sea-worn pebble, materially intriguing in its contemporary design yet with the tactile impression of a found object.

Medium:

Silver, Enamel

Size:

5cmx6.5cm