British fine jewellery and silverware brand Theo Fennell will showcase the work of three Royal College of Art (MA Jewellery and Metal) graduates as part of the company’s ‘Gilded Youth’ project, which aims to support and nurture the jewellery talent of tomorrow.
Running from Sept 23 – Oct 4, an exhibition at the brand’s flagship store in London will highlight the world of three winners of the 2019 Theo Fennell RCA Awards.
The eponymous brand founder says: “Theo Fennell’s partnership with the RCA is now in its eleventh year and we are delighted to continue to enjoy such a strong and rewarding bond with the faculty and its students.”
The designers being showcased this year are:
Haoyon Sun (winner of the Best Jewellery Design award)
Haoyon Sun is a designer-maker-jeweller-traveller. He is obsessed with exploring minority sub-cultures hidden in every corner of the world. He is a nomad and makes sculptural jewellery to express his minority aesthetic and style. Haoyon’s collections are hand-crafted in his nomadic style. Most of his works are based on minority materials, antiques, rare gemstones, decorative totems and traditional crafts. He aims to unfold minority sub-cultures through contemporary fashion, and convey his “fusion” cultural jewellery travels from around the world.
Ming Zhao (Best in Silver Design)
Ming Zhao is a Chinese artist/maker. She graduated from the Industrial Design department of Jiangnan University in 2016. After finishing her studies in China, she moved to London to pursue her Masters at the Royal College of Art in Jewellery and Metal. During this time, she has exhibited in many local and international exhibitions. Zhao’s work can be described as being on a fine line between fine art and design. Her artistic process is diverse and her practice isn’t restricted by forms. She uses multiple mediums from metalwork to glasswork and photography. Similarly, she likes combining traditional skills with readymade and mass-produced objects in order to create her vision.
Joy Bonfield-Colombara (Overall Excellence)
Joy Bonfield-Colombara graduated in Jewellery and Silversmithing from the Glasgow School of Art in 2014 and completed her Masters in Jewellery and Metal from the Royal College of Art in 2019. She has partaken in residencies at Hiko Mizuno in Tokyo, KCUA in Kyoto and “Make Works” in Scotland. Her work is in several private collections and was awarded the Richard Hubbard drawing prize. Her professional name, Joy B-C, is a reflection of her life-long interest in antiquity. Much of Joy’s work pays homage to the principles and images underpinning classical art. Many of the surviving artefacts from ancient Rome and Greece are no longer intact. Sculpted images, for example, are missing limbs or facial features. For Joy, these losses reflect their personal history, serving as a sort of memento mori. They are also an intrinsic part of their beauty and continuing appeal. She has used her deep-seated knowledge as a springboard to deconstruct, manipulate and, ultimately, create her own body of work. In that work, Joy seeks to express a continuum in which the past is always present.
Theo Fennell has an ongoing commitment to the future of the jewellery and silver trade and a mission to inspire the jewellery stars of tomorrow and provide them with the advice, tools and exposure that they need to succeed.
He says: “The Gilded Youth project is our ongoing mission to support and nurture the master jewellers of the future. We sponsor prizes, awards and initiatives for both secondary and college students – at the RCA, Central St Martins and the Goldsmiths Centre among others – to help them prepare for the future and promote the extraordinary young talent we have in this country”.
Theo Fennell The exhibition will be open to the public from September 23 to October 4 at Theo Fennell flagship on Fulham Road.