As part of our ongoing showcase of contemporary crafts, the Modern Art Oxford shop presents Michael Carberry – read his artist statement below.
“Jewellery is my second career as I was originally a National Hunt jockey, before becoming involved in the arts. Some of my friends were sculptors, and after seeing my drawings, they encouraged me to apply for a Foundation Course in art and design. On completion, I realised that I enjoyed making sculpture on a small scale, which led me to continue with my education at the London Guildhall University (Sir John Cass), where I gained a BA (Hons) 1st class in Jewellery, Silversmithing and Allied Crafts. I then won a place to study for an MA in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art.
My own practice is very personal to me and has been an eventful journey so far, fuelled by a true passion for making – and a desire to try and engage with as wide an audience as possible. My work is not led by fashion or the market or other art practices, instead it is about what I think jewellery is, or what it can be, given the right encouragement and opportunities.
My main aim is to create work that reflects the process of its construction, allowing the surface qualities produced to trace their own development. Hammer and file marks are not removed, so creating a visual reference to illustrate the techniques and physical properties of my work. This intuitive approach to manipulate metal helps to capture a feeling of spontaneity and freshness contained within the resulting artefacts. Some of my pieces look as if they have grown from the metal; they are hammered and forged into strong bold sculptural forms that capture the force and energy involved in the process of making them. “