Leamington Spa collection
Created 2004

Working in silver, I create jewellery on the theme of the house. My work is about security and comfort, exploration and adventure. This collection has been inspired by my current surroundings in Royal Leamington Spa.

Architecture and dolls houses fascinate me. Keys and keyholes speak of secret gardens and locked rooms to be explored. Ladders and stairs beg to be climbed, windows looked through.

My work is often a response to something highly decorative, but final pieces become stronger as I simplify them. One theme in this collection is the patterns in Leamington’s decorative masonry and wrought iron work. These pieces are my response to beauty in architecture and how it can affect the way we feel.

   

Inspirations

Houses are the epitome of personal space, containing our lives and the things we collect. Our homes are hopefully safe places; warm, and familiar.

I am interested in architecture and fascinated particularly by doorways and windows; the apertures that lead us to what is inside. As a child I loved going on trips to castles and old houses, searching for hidden passages and climbing spiral staircases.

When I was little, my parents made me a dolls house. I was fascinated by all the miniature pieces of furniture and pots and pans all slightly out of scale with one another. I wanted to shrink down and step inside.

Another childhood pleasure was the satisfaction of posting a letter. Even now, I love to hear an envelope slip through its own little door within a door and sit there on the mat just waiting to be opened…

   

Houses feature regularly in the artwork of my six year old sister. The Holly’s house pieces were created in response to those drawings.

A child’s fascination with houses points to how important it is for us to have a safe place where we belong. These drawings are about more than the bricks and mortar: they encompass an emotional meaning too. Where some would draw a distinction between houses and homes, I am much more interested exploring the connection between the two.

Another series of pieces is about my response to the beauty in my architectural surroundings. They distill something of how our built environment affects our mood and well-being. Every day as I walk to work I seem to find something new to cheer me or inspire me.

The beauty is not purely aesthetic, however: the intricate wrought iron balconies and grand doorways are a link with the past.  I often wonder about the people who must once have inhabited the same Regency streets that are now part of the fabric of my own daily life.



© 2004–2010 April Neate > april@aprilneate.com > Photography by Richard Neate > Richard@Neatephoto.co.uk

 

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