Unexpected Pleasures is a Design Museum touring exhibition which debuted in Melbourne in April this year, curated by Dr. Susan Cohn for the Design Museum. The project was led by Louise Martin, designer at Ab Rogers Design.
The show, which begins in December, will celebrate current jewellery design and the meaning behind the word ‘jewellery’ in a contemporary context from the point of view of wearers and makers.
Work from around the world will be on show, aiming to highlight the relationship between jewellery, art and design.
Rogers says, ‘Jewellery is traditionally shown in bust-like cases with collections shown very closely together. It’s a great way of archiving the jewellery but it can end up feeling quite stilted.
‘We wanted to show the relationship between the designs and the human body – obviously we don’t want to put it on mannequins, but we wanted to create a context for the jewellery.’
The show is divided into three sections: ‘History’, ‘Linked-In’ and ‘Worn Out’. It will feature a digital photographic wall showing films to contextualize the wearing of the jewellery and demonstrating the process of creating it.
The Linked-In section will show families of jewellery and how contemporary craft uses technology. Rogers says, ‘We’re using a deep display case which is shown very low so you can look down into them.’
The final space, Worn Out, will display the pieces at the same level at which they would be worn on the human body. ‘We give it lots of air, so it’s sort of suspended in space’, says Rogers. ‘There’s a real sense of the jewellery itself rather than the display mechanism so people can roam around the space.’
Unexpected Pleasures runs from 5 December – 3 March 2013 at the Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1