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Jacqueline RYAN

Finchley, London, England, United Kingdom born 1966


2002 Place made: Todi, Italy
Materials & Technique: jewellery, brooches, gold, enamel
Dimensions: 5.5 diameter
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2010
Accession No: NGA 2010.593

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This complex brooch has an intricate hidden geometric structure of gold on which many moveable enamelled gold elements are attached, each independently responding to the wearer’s movements. The brooch evokes the richness, intricacy and wonder of the Etruscan and Renaissance jewellery that lies at the heart of the Italian jewellery tradition, yet the work is wholly contemporary with its resonances of marine organisms and fungi that are revealed to us through the imaging of microbiology.

Jacqueline Ryan develops her jewellery design from a close study of micro-organisms, particularly flowers and seedpods, resulting in finely crafted objects of breathtaking subtlety. She is part of a group of innovative jewellers in Italy’s Padua region who have revitalised the area’s ancient goldsmithing and jewellery traditions. Ryan’s skill as a goldsmith and enamellist is displayed with great authority in this work, which is typical of the design innovations that place her among the most respected jewellers in contemporary European goldsmithing.

Jacqueline Ryan was born in London in 1966 and completed a masters in goldsmithing at the London's Royal College of Art in 1991. She has been living and working in Italy since in 1992, when she moved to Padua with goldsmith Giovanni Corvaja (whose works are also in the Gallery’s collection). They shared a workshop together for nine years before moving to Todi in the region of Umbria in 2001, where Ryan now has her own workshop.

Dr Robert Bell AM, senior curator, Decorative Arts and Design
in artonview, issue 65, autumn 2011

in artonview, issue 65, autumn 2010