Charlotte De Syllas Exhibition
27 April, 2016 - 22 July, 2016
The Goldsmiths’ Company is delighted to present the first major solo exhibition of work by unique artist jeweller Charlotte De Syllas.
27 April -15 July
By appointment only from Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm (call the Curator’s Office: 020 7 606 7010 ext.9)
18 - 22 July
No appointment necessary from Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm
The Goldsmiths’ Company is delighted to present the first major solo exhibition of work by unique artist jeweller Charlotte De Syllas at Goldsmiths’ Hall from 27 April – 22 July.Charlotte De Syllas: Sculpted Gemstones brings together 73 exquisite art jewellery pieces created between the 1960s and the present day. The display provides insight into this renowned studio-based jeweller’s creative imagination and illustrious career spanning over 50 years.
One of the country’s leading makers, Charlotte’s palette is gemstones; their shape and colour. Jade, opal, lapis lazuli, aquamarine and tourmaline are but some of the alluring stones that feature in her sculpted designs. Her distinctive mastery in carving reveals the ethereal beauty of the gemstones and hardstones. As such, Charlotte is as much a sculptor as she is a jeweller.
Her works come to life in the form of birds with wings widespread, flowers in bloom, human heads in a mode of quiet contemplation, and sea creatures. Silver, platinum and gold serve as supporting materials, merging with the gemstones to create sublime contrasts reflecting the materials’ distinctive characteristics. Deceptively simple, the jewels are complex in their symbolic message and reveal the dedicated integrity of their creator.
The daughter of an architect father and an interior designer mother, Charlotte grew up at St Julian’s, a socially advanced community of architects, academics, poets and painters in Kent. Although her early interests in dance, miming and fine art did not transfer into a profession, a Paris exhibition of fine jewellery by renowned fauvist and cubist artist Georges Braque, opened Charlotte’s eyes to a different career path. Alongside Modernist architecture’s clarity of form and visual expression - as informed by her father’s architectural practice - the Braque exhibition had a major influence on the young Charlotte: jewellery was calling.
Charlotte completed a pioneering jewellery design course (1963-6) under the tutelage of innovative jeweller Gerda Flockinger at Hornsey College of Art. She went on to win the prestigious Jerwood Prize for Jewellery alongside Peter Chang in 1999 and became a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths’ Company in 2007. Predominantly made to commission, each of Charlotte’s organic forms sit perfectly on the body, echoing the client’s individuality.
Her work can be found in important public collections such as the V&A, London; the Crafts Council, London; and the Swiss National Museum, Zurich. Charlotte’s relationship with the Goldsmiths’ Company has continued since the 1960s, when the Company purchased her student work. It also commissioned her in 2000 and 2014 to create major work in jade.
A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and can be purchased at Goldsmiths’ Hall.
Buy The Catalogue