De Vroomen: Harmony in Colour and Form
12 April, 2017 - 26 July, 2017
A celebration of five decades of artistic collaboration between Leo and Ginnie de Vroomen.
Open Monday – Wednesday, 10am - 4pm
The Goldsmiths’ Company is delighted to present De Vroomen: Harmony in Colour and Form, a celebration of five decades of artistic collaboration between renowned husband and wife team, Dutch goldsmith Leo de Vroomen and British jewellery designer and artist Ginnie de Vroomen.
The showcase brings together over 100 pieces of De Vroomen jewels, sketches reflecting the creative process, as well as Ginnie’s vivid paintings inspired by nature and the urban landscape. Bold, sophisticated jewellery with flowing lines is placed in conversation with polychromatic abstract art.
Leo has had a long-standing relationship with the Goldsmiths' Company, having been made an Associate of the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1983. Four highly accomplished De Vroomen pieces form part of the Company’s Contemporary Jewellery Collection and a De Vroomen retrospective was staged at Goldsmiths’ Hall in 1991.
“I am passionate about our jewellery. To create something innovative, dynamic and beautiful without compromise is always challenging but the real satisfaction comes from seeing it worn by the right woman with confidence and pleasure”
De Vroomen is well known for its bold use of enamel and was at the forefront of its revival in fine jewellery. Consequently, colourful bangles, earclips, necklaces and rings offer insight into its distinctive style, one that “isn’t influenced by the vagaries of fashion".
Leo also disagrees with traditional hierarchies of precious and semi-precious stones and considers all gemstones precious. He particularly values unusual stones with interesting inclusions and individual character.
When Leo and Ginnie started working together in the early 70s, they developed a signature style of jewellery unlike anything seen before. As with their current designs, early De Vroomen pieces had a voluptuous quality resulting from being formed rather than constructed - sensuously sculptural repoussé work celebrating the warmth and malleability of gold.
It was Ginnie's imaginative and technically unconstrained approach to design, combined with Leo's determination to make what often seemed impossible, that produced their innovative and exciting jewellery.
Although Ginnie’s organic drawings often serve as a starting point, Leo is central to the work’s execution – a process that includes interpreting her sketches, making technical drawings, and then turning precious raw materials into statement pieces. And while Ginnie’s abstract paintings may not be directly influenced by the jewellery itself and vice-versa, both share a similar approach to colour and complement each other.