Saturday, 21 August 2010

The colour and the shape

No. Not THAT album, although I maintain its a good one.

This post is about the work of David Watkins. A man I first learnt about during my formative years. A-Level art/late 90's (eeeeek) to be precise.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE his work. The organic fluidity of the shapes, set up against the rigid materials he often uses. And then there's the colour - jewel-strong, striking azures and rubies combined with straight gold/silver or a monochrome "palette". The shapes in particular share a theme that warrants proximity to the body - often moulded around limbs and muscles, drawing the eye to them.

At a formative moment in the 1960s Watkins had worked on special effects for Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, the film 2001, designing and creating model spacecraft - I don't know if being aware of this draws a firmer association between the influence of the film's aesthetics on the minimalism of his design, or the other way around....

A jeweller/artist since the early 70's, his pieces, to me, have omnipresent relevance & appeal. You cannot define them by a decade.

Hinged Shoulderpiece (blue) Neckpiece, 1973
Large Pendant Bodypiece, 1975
Mt.Hagen Hoopla Neckpiece, 1981
Matrix IV Neckpiece, 1987. Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus Hanau
Four-way Ceremonial Neckpiece (for the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II), 1977
Hinged Loop Neckpiece (radiating blue) Neckpiece, 1974
Torus 300: Blue Burst Neckpiece, 2006
Curved Shoulderpiece, 1975

Collections include The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, The Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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