About this project
Who are we?
What are we doing?
Partnering charities will gift JUNK jewellery. Local businesses will gift tools and equipment. The School of Jewellery will gift a venue. Jewellers and Makers, well-established and newly emerged, will come (potentially worldwide) to gift skills in a performance which will be live-streamed throughout Birmingham and online alongside a mix of workshops and ‘show and tell’ events, followed by an exhibition and silent auction. The silent auction will allow people to bid secretly on the objects on display, with the highest bidder being announced at the end of the exhibition.
Through collecting JUNK, the performance, exhibition and auction, we shift the focus from finished object to social interactions; to the process of creating the work of art by the performers, participants and partners who are our audience and active collaborators. We will start conversations about waste, disposal, reuse and material worth. We will generate conversations between makers established and new, creating networks of interactions and connections between charity, maker, business, audience and university.
Why do we need YOUR help?
We have secured a venue, many, many interested participating jewellers, a whole host of partnering charities, sponsors and supporters who will gift their time, materials and equipment to make this project a success.
However, we hit a small hiccup. In order to have this giant pile of jewellery, we need to collect it. And, as we explain in our video, this will involve having to drive many, many, many hundreds of miles in order to collect it from the charities. Not only that, many fantastic jewellers and makers wish to take part, but many live very far away from Birmingham and have many, sometimes hundreds, of miles to travel to be part of it.
Here Laura explains
If we reach our minimum Kickstarter target of £3000, then we shall be able to cover some of these basic costs. And that would be fantastic. But we don't want to just stop at that.
The more money we can raise the more we can help our participating jewellers with the costs of participating in the one week performance, their travel and accommodation. And this is important: as they are gifting their time and skills, it is only right that they should be supported to take part.
We have had many exciting and fantastic makers from all over the world express interest in coming to make JUNK: rubbish to gold a fantastic success, but we can only do it with your help.
In fact Rachel will tell you just how important it is in this film
Background to JUNK: rubbish to gold
A little over a year ago we found ourselves rummaging through the remains of
a pile of old, tangled, broken trash jewellery. Some colleagues, drawn by the
twinkling sparkle of paste and plastic and unable to resist the urge to
rummage, soon joined us.
Memories emerged and were shared as the tattered jewels were untangled, a single earring, a diamante owl brooch missing one eye, some wooden rosary beads, each invoked a story of their own; a summer holiday, a favorite aunt, playing in a grandmother’s house. Slowly, some beads disappeared to be re-strung and re-painted, a backless brooch was made functional again, the process of sharing memories rejuvenated this junk jewellery, breathing life back into it.
Why did this humble pile of rejected and broken jewellery connect with so many? Did this sharing of stories and memories shape and reshape these everyday jewels, or were these stories and memories shaped by this junk jewellery? And, what would happen if this small pile of broken jewellery grew and grew: what stories, and jewels would then emerge?
Reusing is often perceived as the simple up-cycling of one object to another, from unwanted to desired, consumer leftovers turned into new desirable luxury consumables to buy. This reuse is the cornerstone of jewellery as a discipline, with materials shifting form to adapt to the newest fashion and trend. Yet the re-imagining of one object into another is infinitely more complex than it is often portrayed.
Dates for the Diary
The Performance: 9th-13th November 2015 at the School of Jewellery, Birmingham, UK.
The Exhibition: 16th-17th November 2015 at the School of Jewellery and online through Crafthaus.ing.org
The Silent Auction: you will be able to bid throughout the exhibition.
Participating Jewellers and Makers (so far)
As well as Jivan, Rachel and Laura who will of course be taking part in the performance; we already have a whole host of talented jewellers and makers who will take part. These include:
Zoe Robertson, Sally Collins, Mah Rana, Toni Mayner, Natalie Smith, Imogen Clarkson, Carly Petitt Taylor, Drew Markou, Laura Brannon, Robert Goldsworthy, Farrah Al-Dujaili, Michele Hankins, Suzanne Beautyman, Nanna Gronborg, Hannah Fewtrell-Bolton and Karin Roy Andersson.
And while this is a wonderful group of people, we aim to do so much more. We will create the space to have up to ten different jewellers and makers working on the JUNK jewellery each day, increasing the potential for the jewellers and makers to talk and work together and building relations and potentially possible future collaborations. But unless we get your help and support, this will not happen.
We have a whole pile of rewards for those who show their support for this project. Here are some of the wonderful goodies you can get!
From button badges to gold plated necklaces, bangles and rings and a very very special Kickstarter only publication, you are spoilt with choice!
The team selecting treasures for the Kickstarter rewards...
A plethora of bangles to chose from... let the plating commence... which one will become your Kickstarter reward?
Gold plated necklaces getting packed up and ready to find their new home....
Yummy, one of the small gold-plated necklaces up close, who would not want one of these?!
We only chose the finest JUNK jewellery to create our fabulous 24ct gold foiled badges. What a treat.
Oh, so many choices, what transformed treasures will you end up with?
Professor Jivan Astfalck
Jivan Astfalck is a visual artist, jeweller and academic. Born in Berlin, where she was trained as a goldsmith, she has been living in London for more than 20 years. She obtained her MA in the History and Theory of Modern Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design and her PhD in Fine Art at the University of the Arts London. Dr Astfalck is Professor at the Faculty of the Arts, Design & Media (ADM), Birmingham City University (BCU) and combines her studio practice, which she exhibits internationally, with teaching as the MA Course Director for Jewellery, Silversmithing and Related Product. In 2013 she became Director of the new Research Centre for Creative Making: S.T.U.F.F. (Sensuous Technologies Underpinning Fabulous Futures).
Her main focus and research interest is in using hermeneutic philosophy, literary theory and other appropriate thought models as tools to investigate narrative structures embedded in body related crafts objects. In her view, the convergence of crafts, design and fine art practices is conducive to extending the theoretical vocabulary and map out new territories where crafts practices contribute to cultural production and dissemination.
Her publications include: Lifelines, in ‘SchmuckDenken’, W. Lindemann (Hg.) & FH Trier | Idar-Oberstein, Arnoldsche Arts Publishers, Germany; TableManners, TR11/01, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 2011; Traditional craft: manufactured nostalgia or grass-root resistance?, The Journal of Modern Crafts’ (online), Murray, K. (ed.), 2009; Lifelines, in ‘The International Journal of the Arts in Society’, volume 3, number 1, 2008; Difference and Resemblance in ‘Six Views on a Practice in Change’, Crafts In Dialogue-IASPIS, Stockholm, 2005.
Commissions include: 'StoryMeadow', participatory installation commissioned by Craftspace, at (new) Library of Birmingham; 'Going Places', for Architecture Week and New Generation Art (NGA), Birmingham UK, 2007; 'Hide, for ‘Self’', Craftspace & Angel Row Gallery & Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, UK, 2004; 'On Memory and Loss', for ‘Acknowledged Sources’ exhibition project, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, UK, 2001.
Laura Bradshaw-Heap is a freelance curator, arts practitioner and anthropologist. She has an MA from London Metropolitan University in Design and is currently studying within the Anthropology department at University College London. She won an award for her piece in 'Revolt' at the Legnica Silver Festival, Poland and she has helped curate and run the annual Zimmerhof Conference in Germany in 2013. Her past art/jewellery projects include 'This is Me', in which she worked with a group of Irish Traveller Women in Brent, culminating in an exhibition and publication of a book, which was launched at the Irish Embassy in London and 'Before/After' in which she worked with a group of London based refugees from Bosnia Hertegovina, providing a space for the women to come together, using creativity and making as a tool to instigate conversations and to share stories between people who usually remained isolated. Her research interests include the making economy, performativity, aesthetics, urban studies and cultural policy.
Her publications include: (In Print) Review Tapa of the Pacific, The Journal of Museum Ethnography. THE CURATORIAL CHALLENGES SUSPENDING COLOURS, Findings Magazine Issue, 2014. 59 P.3-5. Suspended in Pink. Edited by Laura Bradshaw-Heap. 2013, BCU, Birmingham; Can participatory art methods positively impact art jewellery practices and if so how? Metronome: Journal of Postgraduate Research. London Metropolitan University, 2012, pp.43-52; Masterclass: Authenticity in the age of stylesurfing. Findings Magazine, Issue 51. p.15.
Her Curated Exhibtions include: Suspended in Green. Open Call, Juried Exhibition (by Mah Rana and David Clarke) V&V, Vienna January-March 2014; Studio Gabi Green, Munich March 2014; Lesley Craze Gallery, London August-September 2014; 2017, Sydney July 2015. Suspended in Pink. Open Call, Juried Exhibition (by Laura Potter and Timothy Information Limited) The School of Jewellery January 2013; Studio Gabi Green, March 2013; Viaduc des Arts, Paris; November 2013, V&V; Vienna January-March 2014.
Her Exhibitions include: Revolt, Touring exhibition, including Legnica Silver Festival, 2013-14 Poland, JOYA Contemporary Jewellery Fair, Barcelona, Inhorgenta Munich Fair, Munich, Germany, N Gallery, Jablonec, Czech Republic and Beit Meirov Gallery, Israel. Spectrum; The School of Jewellery, 2013. Premio Fondazione Cominelli per il Gioiello Contemporaneo, Italy, 2012. SIERAAD Art Fair, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2012 . Suspended. Munich, Germany 2012. Schmuck Show Munich, Germany 2012 . Dialogue Collective Pop Up Shop, London, 2010 . Effervescence II, West Dean College, Chichester. 2007/8. Recycled-RE-use-Reclaim, Ferrers Gallery, Ashby de la Zouch. 2008.
Rachel Darbourne gained a BA in Jewellery from Middlesex University in 1994 and an MA in Jewellery, Silversmithing and Related Products from the School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University in 2013. She was Artist in Residence at the School of Jewellery September 2013 – September 2014.
Rachel is a mixed media jeweller, researcher and project developer: her current body of work, ‘Lovingly Murdered’ investigates humanity’s predisposition for violence. This work has been shown at the Annual Marzee Graduate Selection of Graduate Work 2013 (11.08.13) and as part of the touring exhibition SENSEability, co-curated with Drew Markou, in three venues: Studio Gabi Green, Munich, Germany 12th-15th March 2015 as part of Schmuck week; Victoria Sewart Contemporary Jewellery Gallery, Plymouth,UK, May 8th-10th 2015; and Galerie V&V, Vienna, Austria, May 28th-July 18th 2015.
She also produces jewellery that is an expression of her environmental interests which is made from low density polythene from post-industrial processes. This recycled jewellery is currently sold in galleries across the UK and has featured in the publications Recycling: Forms for the Next Century – Austerity for Posterity, Craftspace Touring, Birmingham, 1996; and Sustainable Jewellery, Manheim, J, A & C Black, London, 2009.
Exhibitions include: Recycling, Crafts Council, London 1996; Recycling, Ferrers Gallery, Leicestershire, 2011; Black and Red, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno 2011; Jewellery Showcase - Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2011; and Reclaimed, The Galanthus Gallery, Herefordshire, 2009
(are you part of a company or charity and think you could help? Contact us now and let's start chatting!)
Photographs are by Rod Gonzalez and Rachel Darbourne.
Graphics are by Panjapol Kulpapangkorn and Laura Bradshaw-Heap
Risks and challenges
The risks of this project.
What happens if we don't get the jewellery?
Thankfully this won't be a problem as we have already to date collected over 123Kgs of JUNK jewellery. And although this is quite a lot, we hope with your help to collect even more. The more we can collect, the more amazing things we can do with it during the performance and exhibition.
What happens if we don't get the money?
We are determined to make sure that our project is the best we can possibly make it, but it is only with your help and a successful kickstarter fund that we can invite jewellers from all over the country (and possibly the world) to come and take part.
What will we do if we get funded more money than we have asked for?
We have asked for the very very minimum amount of money that we need to make this project work, but in reality all additional money raised will go directly into our travel and accommodation bursary for our participating jewellers and makers. Any profits generated during the project will be invested back into making the next JUNK: rubbish to gold project even bigger and better, of course only once all participating charities receive their share (50% of profits in proportion to the amount of jewellery they have generated).
What will we do with the leftover JUNK jewellery?
'JUNK: rubbish to gold' is planning it's first performance, exhibition and auction at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham, however, it is very much our intention that it will not be the last! We aim to bring this project to new venues, cities and countries. After all the more iterations of 'JUNK:rubbish to gold' there are, the more jewellers and makers get to work together, to meet and to network and the more JUNK jewellery the jewellers and makers will transform from unwanted waste to transformed objects of desire.
Any unneeded JUNK jewellery will be recycled through an appropriate materials reclamation centre, with any money generated going back to the charities that kindly donated the jewellery.
What are we doing to make sure the project will be successful?
We have already begun connecting with many people by social media. Have you connected with us via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? We are working hard in developing more and more partnerships to generate audiences and much needed materials and support, making sure that we have a whole network of JUNK supporters working to make the project a success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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