Oct 28th 2019
Every Month we will showcase three Visual Arts Scotland members, spotlighting their work & practice.
These showcased members will be chosen by a monthly guest curator. The invited curator will select makers & artists that interest them from our amazing membership. This will be based on a theme of their choice.
Curator: Susanna Beaumont
Susanna Beaumont is a curator and mentor. She has wide-reaching experience of working with artists and designers to deliver site-specific projects, commissions and exhibitions in Scotland and beyond.
In 2018 Susanna launched Design Exhibition Scotland, a pioneering project championing design excellence and exploration with the expressed wish to raise the visibility of contemporary designers working in Scotland.
An energetic thinker and innovator, Susanna is passionate about advocacy, reaching a wide public audience and supporting the resolutely contemporary. She was the founder director of doggerfisher Edinburgh (2000-2010) the celebrated contemporary gallery, where she championed the early careers of many now critically acclaimed artists.
Previous positions include director of Frith Street Gallery, London; guest curator at Jupiter Artland; acting director Outset Scotland and mentor to the Fleming-Wyfold Foundation. In 2016 she co-curated with Amanda Game NL20 commissions to celebrate the 20th anniversary of North Lands Creative Glass, working with the artist designer maker, Geoffrey Mann, on a site specific installation for Dovecot, Edinburgh.
Tell us a little bit about your artistic background/education
I am self-thought jeweller but I have mastered my skills under supervision of well known Polish silversmith, Jacek Szczepanski, who took me as an apprentice and shared his trade secrets. I was always interested in “making” though. Since I was a little boy I always made things, from breaking my toys in pieces and putting then back together (not necessary in the shape they had initially), through taking ceramics as one of my faculties in High School, to finally becoming the apprentice jeweller…and the journey started there.
Could you describe your practice?
I strongly believe that good piece of jewellery is more than a decorative object. Originality of the concept is central to my designs and it is supported by a fitting choice of material and techniques I use. I often play with new techniques concentrating more on the preciousness of the idea rather than on the material value of the object.
I want my work to proof that jewellery design evolves just like any other art or design discipline. I am passionate about making designer jewellery more widely accessible
What are your art influences? Which contemporary artists/makers do you admire and why?
I am influenced by world around me, by book I just read or movie I watched. I do not have define idols. Recently I am fascinated by Pictish and even older, Neolithic designs left of various utensils and ancient jewellery discovered underground in various places in Scotland. My latest collection “Found Beneath” reflects that interest.
What makes a good day in the studio for you?
Pot of coffee on the side and no kids around. I work from home, so its not always an obvious privilege. I like people visiting my studio though, so any day when I run workshop is a good day. Couples are coming to be guided on how to make rings for each other or some wish to know how to set a stone. I like to share my knowledge and teach the trade to people.
In the studio – music, audiobook, podcast, Radio 4 or silence?
Did I say cup of coffee? So that and music, I am not able to work without music in the background, and the louder as better!
What is coming up next for you and where can we see more of you work?
I have a workshop plan this weekend with a couple who want to design and make wedding rings for each other, that I am looking for. I also need to work on restocking of my Found Beneath Collection, that you can see in SDX shops both in Edinburgh (Ocean Terminal) and Glasgow (Buchannan Galleries).