Thursday, 24 July 2014

Joseph Farrow - Arthur Silver Award 2014 winner

This year the judges decided to share the Arthur Silver Award between two Final Year students at Middlesex University, Paresha Amin (BA Fine Art) and Joseph Farrow (BA Jewellery & Accessories). In a previous post we featured the award winning work of Paresha and so here we are featuring Joseph's entry.  

Entrants to the award are required to use the MoDA collections as inspiration in the development of a piece of studio work. Up until this point, most students entering the Award have interpreted this brief in a fairly conventional way, choosing to submit work inspired by particular museum objects they have encountered, or related to historical styles represented in the collections.  Joseph's work takes a different approach, inspired by the structure of the MoDA archive itself, and the way we categorise and house our collections.  His starting point was a series of found objects which he dismantled, and separated into component parts. Each part was then catalogued and stored to create a library- or archive-style selection of objects, from which he created a jewellery collection for men. 

All entrants must submit three A3 sized boards showing inspiration, development and finished work.  Here are Joseph's entry boards:

Entry board 1: Joseph put forward his initial idea to create jewellery from deconstructed found objects. Taking inspiration from MoDA, he decided to create his own library, giving each individual component a new identity in the form of an accession number (the unique record number used to identify objects in a collection).

Joseph's first entry board

Entry board 2: Having built a library containing all the different component parts of the found objects he'd previously dismantled, Joseph  utilised his knowledge of computer-aided design to create jewellery pieces inspired by this new library, which were machine cut and hand finished, using the traditional technique of heat tempering.

Joseph's second entry board

Entry board 3: With the jewellery collection consisting of over 50 items and the assembled library continuing to expand, Joseph took inspiration from the catalogues Fleetway: The Greatest Value in the Kitchen (Badda287)  and  Art & Utility in Gas (Badda2072) to write and illustrate a catalogue explaining his work and the processes involved.

Joseph's third entry board

MoDA's Learning Officer Richard Lumb commented,'Rather than being inspired by a particular design or style, Joseph has taken inspiration from the structure of the MoDA archive itself, and the way that we categorise and house our collections. We feel this approach represents an exciting interpretation of the Award brief, and opens up the possibility for creative work which looks beyond the subjects and themes associated with the content of our collections.'

The judges shared this view, adding that Joseph's 'unusual use of archival systems was well thought-out and realised.' 

Joseph receiving his award certificate from Hilary Robinson, Dean of the School of Art & Design at Middlesex University and Richard Lumb, MoDA's Learning Officer

After jointly winning this year's award, Joseph said: “For me this feels great. I would like to put the money towards getting studio space, I’d like to set up my own business.”

Joseph with part of his final jewellery collection

Since winning, Joseph has entered work for the New Designers exhibition which has resulted in a lot of interest. He sold a few pieces of his jewellery collection at the show and there was interest from other buyers as well. Responding to this interest Joseph said, 'It's a great feeling knowing people are are actually interested in my work and want to wear it'.

Joseph has been asked to enter the 'Cultivated' graduate program which runs at Unit Twelve Gallery, based in Staffordshire.  If chosen he will be offered six months free studio space, shop window and exhibition space and a bursary.  He has been asked to stock a selection of jewellery at Gallery 25 in Hereford, which he is currently putting together ready to send off within the next two weeks. Joseph has also been invited to exhibit at Lovers Light Gallery in south-west London, for a two month stint from September as part of a 'new designers' exhibition.

'The next few months are going to be great', said Joseph. 'I just hope that I can find a full time job in the meantime'.  For more information about Joseph and his work please visit his new website.

We very much hope that other Middlesex University Art & Design students will be inspired by Joseph and Paresha's success, and come and explore MoDA's rich and varied archive for themselves.  You can find out about the work of previous Arthur Silver Award entrants in past MoDA blog posts, as well as looking at MoDA's website for more information about the application process.












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