Abigail Brown Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom
Abigail Brown has been producing contemporary designs in silver since 2001. She has exhibited internationally at venues including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, Goldsmiths' Hall and the German Goldsmiths' House in Hanau. Her silverware is included in the public collection of National Museum Wales in Cardiff. She is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths'.
As a contemporary artist and silversmith I work predominantly using silver to make jewellery, sculptures and installations that emphasise the primitive ritual of creation, material, and time. The process of making draws on combinations of old-world silversmithing techniques such as the use of fire, beating sheet metal and chasing soft lines.
These sculptural interventions are inspired by cherished observations of nature, allowing an instinctive development of tensions between myself and the landscape. Living on a boat for many years connects me with the tides and seasons, watching the rise and fall of the Estuary’s reflective surface.
Just as gleaming archaeological hoards are often dug from the earth so too are the minerals and metals drawn from below the surface. Silver and gold, alongside copper and tin, have a long mining history and traditionally these precious metals are recycled within the industry. All craft 'costs the Earth' whether it is the clay or oxides for ceramics that have been extracted from minerals, or a diamond. Therefore, it is important to me what I do with, and how I use the materials that I have the privilege to work with. By producing hand-made, intricate and delicate sculptural forms, that are often based on plants and ancient artefacts, my work questions what we will carry forward into the future and what we hold precious.
Silver has long held my imagination from early visits to archaeological collections in the British Museum. I hope to imbue a sense of magic and mysticism, drawing together elements of our ancient ritual past and connection to nature with the use of metals and minerals. I believe in making silverware that will be much worn, much used and will bear the marks of time, objects that one day could be considered relics of an almost forgotten past.
For me, the process of silversmithing is a spiritual experience, an honouring of the land and the natural world that informs my work.