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Manifest exhibition review by Midori Wakabayashi

Written by Bluecoat Display Centre | Posted on: March 14, 2016

Hi, I’m Midori, doing work experience for setting up Manifest – jewellery for the hand –  a touring exhibition by the Designer Jewellers Group. I’m studying jewellery in the university for the creative arts and I’m from Japan. My work is now inspired by geometric patterns and I’m interested in cutting and folding metal technique at the moment. Today, I’m introducing this fabulous exhibition from my point of view.

The theme colour of this exhibition is red, which comes from ruby, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Designer Jewellers Group. This red colour in nature is so attractive. The ruby is used widely for precious jewellery from the ancient age. However, each artist has used ruby and red colour in a contemporary way and show its attractiveness in a modern setting. It is interesting to look at many pieces of jewellery together made for one theme. When we set up, we were careful about the matching of each jeweller’s works on the shelves and glass or textile works displayed with it.

In more detail, the big bangle which is made by Ute Sanne has impact in its form. The ruby set in front of the bangle and many thin and long plates are layered and make architectural form. It looks like gold on the picture, but most of the parts are made of straw. The straw is not a rare material in daily life but unusual for jewellery. The harmony with straw and precious ruby and gold is beautiful.

Next, Sarah Macrae also uses interesting materials. She uses dyed polypropylene and makes forms like geometrical flowers. This work is made from many small pieces of flowers. The shape and size of the petals change slightly and the colour has gradation of white, pink, red and purple. It looks like flower blooming on your hand when you put this on.

In the Bluecoat Display Centre, there are lots of craft works; ceramic, glass, sculpture, and so on. It is nice place to appreciate works. Sunshine comes from the glass celling, calm atmosphere makes you relax. It is interesting just to imagine how jewellery would look on your body and enjoy the great technique and concept of the work. Some work is gorgeous,  using amazing technique like Jeanne Werge Hartley’s work. There is a set of a ring with its own box, which can also be a pendant. Some work makes you smile like T-Rex Cufflinks made by Tom McDowell. His work is inspired by animals like dinosaurs, chicken and bees.

Actually, it is the first time for me to come Liverpool city and Bluecoat Display Centre. I found a lot of impressive things. It is interesting for me that Bluecoat Display Centre puts many different range of works together and puts them really close to visitors. It is easy to touch and feel the texture of metal, ceramic, glass and paper directly. I love the atmosphere of Liverpool city as well as Bluecoat Display Centre. Fresh air comes from the Mersey and I can always hear music from somewhere and seagulls cry. People always laugh and talk together. I am also interested in the Tate Liverpool. There is a corner of Art Gym inside. People can enjoy drawing with rolling table, making a light shield for a smartphone camera or relaxing by lying on the floor to watch the movie on the celling. There are many activities like the menu in a gym or spa. In Liverpool, many people enjoy running around the town and art exists like running. It is important to make life comfortable and rich. Art is close to lifestyle and easy to touch, feel and enjoy.

I’m so happy to join the Bluecoat Display Centre to bring art and people together with such kind and fantastic colleagues.



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