POWER & ALLURE

POWER

Wright & Teague's Pleiades consist of seven concentric collars, ideal for a modern warrior queen.

Gary Wright and Sheila Teague are inspired aesthetically and intellectually by the unique role enjoyed by jewellery in all societies; tribal, modern, ancient, and the deeply rooted spiritual connection of jewellery to ritual and heritage.

Both respect and harness traditions whilst making new works that are fresh, vital and unrelentingly contemporary. In pushing boundaries their individual linear style, is imbued with their shared energy of nature.

Sheila Teague commented,

"We are incredibly honoured to have been commissioned by the World Gold Council to contribute this piece. We wanted to continue the narrative of the neck pieces worn in the times when wearing jewellery represented status, something that as a society we are still concerned with now.

It is a very powerful piece of gold couture, graphic and strong but with plenty of movement."

The exhibition at Goldsmiths' Hall featured 400 gold artefacts, including the earliest known piece of jewellery found in the British Isles, a Lunula from the Bronze Age dating back to 2,500 BC.

The new piece by Wright & Teague is intended to continue the golden thread of narrative that begun with the Lunula and taking inspiration by its crescent shape design, Pleiades makes an historical connection with the history of goldsmithing in Britain.

It consists of seven collars representing the Pleiades, the seven sisters of the constellation of Taurus - astronomy known to the Bronze Age people.

POWER

Honed from fine sheets of 18 carat yellow gold, the hand-crafted collars are designed to be worn or exhibited singly or together, their powerful silhouette evocative of an Elizabethan ruff.

The collars are inspired by the notion of a leaf wrapped around the body, reflective of an ancient man's desire to decorate and celebrate with materials around him.

Behind the scenes
Wright & Teague workshop

As well as being engraved with significant symbols; sun, star, flower, hand, eye, branch, zodiac, poetry from the quintessential British poet, Wordsworth is engraved onto each collar, expressing the power of nature and its ability to transport us to a different place with the words

“With an eye made quiet, by the power of harmony and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.”

Pleiades is a collaborative experience between Gary Wright and Sheila Teague creating a metaphor for the universal themes of chaos and calm through jewellery.

The seeming immutability of precious gold is transformed through a precise, intuitive understanding of craftsmanship driven by the energy of innovative ideas to become an object of serene beauty.

Gold’s emotive and expressive qualities come to life in the hands of artist-goldsmiths around the world. 

As the voice of authority for gold, the World Gold Council plays a leading role in promoting the art of the goldsmith. 

By commissioning new work, the organisation demonstrates a commitment to elevating gold beyond jewellery and into the realms of gold couture.  

BEHIND THE SCENES

Commissioning leading photographer Robert Wyatt to capture the mood and energy of Pleiades the brief was to show off the graphic and edgy power of the piece.  Robert Wyatt commented,

“I wanted to produce a set of images that did justice to each designers piece as well as making them modern and showing the pieces in a “wearable” way. Jewellery for me is all about the person that’s wearing it. The piece needs to be key but at the end of the day it’s the woman that’s wearing it that draws you in.”  

Behind the scenes
Wright & Teague workshop

Jonathan Clabburn has worked as a commercial image maker since 1994. Commissioned by World Gold Council, the creative thinking behind the shoot for the video was to give a sense of the highly skilled craftsmanship by shooting with a small crew in an ‘observational’ style, trying to show the people as they really are, and bring the viewer closer to the stories being told.

The films are designed to give a rare insight into the thinking behind the work, show its unique beauty and pay respect to the deep history of gold jewellery making that exists in the UK.

Behind the scenes
Wright & Teague workshop
At the photo-shoot

One of the challenges of these films was to accurately capture various processes involved with the crafting of the work. For people who spend every day in the familiar environment of their workshop, it was necessary to break down the processes into layman's terms so they could be communicated visually.

The Wright & Teague piece in particular provided a wonderful challenge as it was unlike anything ever created before by the artists. Comprising of seven rings of gold, the artists were challenged to handle such large sheets of gold and there was much problem solving to be done to make the piece sit correctly on the body.

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