Sunday, 25 April 2010

Carol Kingsbury Gwizdak

We went to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales on Thursday. The current show in the gallery Delicate Balance is by jeweller, Carol Kingsbury Gwizdak. Carol exhibited with Oriel Myrddin Gallery in 2009 as part of Crafted: Contemporary Craft and Fine Art.

There is a particular poignancy to Carol showing in this space as she previously lived in the courtyard of Middleton Hall before it became the National Botanic Gardens in 2000. The show includes a comprehensive collection of work including drawings and prints as well as some quite conceptual images based on a historical collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Carol's work takes "...unorthodox materials and traditional techniques to draw attention to our idea of what is precious..."

Crafts curator, Ralph Turner has said of the work: " Carol Gwizdak's Jewellery focuses on ecological issues that draw on the visual and conceptual language of the natural world and in so doing reinstates nature in its purist form as the most precious of all commodities."

The fact that much of it is displayed under glass domes like a rare Victorian collection; that the natural objects incorporated into the pieces are held in stasis, impotently isolated from the natural environment, colourless; I was struck by the dark undercurrents to the work. There is something slightly horrific, slightly romantic, slightly Gothic; and the setting of the Botanic Gardens and its historical legacy added to the feeling.

Carol Kingsbury Gwizdak - Valued

A new series of framed works Valued, are based on the Bollinger collection of diamond necklaces in the V&A Museum. The pieces are made from burrs which are held in place on a background of wool fabric as a "...metaphor for society's dependence on wealth and status."


  1. Love the Carol Kingsbury rings, they are like wee hedges.

  2. I must keep up with what is going on at the National Botanic. I often forget about their exhibition space. Think I'll try and get to see this. Lesley

  3. I particularly like that moss series! And definately worth a visit I'd say, nice to spend a day wandering round the garden too.


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