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John Moore

Two times Winner of The Goldsmiths’ Company Award, 2016 & 2019, artist John Moore continues to explore and create his world through making wearable objects. Recognised for their imagination, original design and craftsmanship, his distinctive works are born out of a deep passion for making and a life time spent observing the world around him. With a broad approach he combines a variety of materials, selected for their unique properties.  Shape, colour and movement are carefully balanced to create hybrid specimens.  Organic yet manmade, they transcend the material and work in harmony with the body, blurring the lines between jewellery, art, design, craft, fashion and performance.  

 
Life’s what you make it
— Talk Talk
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It was always clear that John was born to make things and his fascination with wearable objects and movement began at a very young age. Whilst other children were playing with toys, John was busy making his own. He was often to be found at the kitchen table making masks, kites, puppets and automata sculpture, all of which he could bring to life with movement. At other times he was practising the piano, at a ballet class, out collecting feathers, or gazing at his tropical fish.

John aged 2 with Nanna and his mother.

John aged 2 with Nanna and his mother.

Self portrait, aged 11

Self portrait, aged 11

 

naturally inspired - organic / engineered

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The overriding inspiration for John’s work is the natural world. With sensitivity for shape, balance and movement, he combines the organic with the engineered to create new objects that show respect to nature and our place within it.  The finished pieces are the result of a life time spent observing the natural world and understanding materials through making.

But just as an orchestra comprises many instruments, inspiration comes in many forms, from objects of beauty, both natural and manmade, to the music that moves him, to the achievement of others.

I am really a melting pot, constantly absorbing things, visually, aurally and mentally. Each piece I make is a new expression from the same network of roots, a celebration of all the richness of the world that I have experienced.
— John Moore
 

aluminium - silicone - gold - steel - silver - wood - magnets - glass

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With his varied background in art and design, John combines a range of media using traditional craft skills and modern processes.  He selects materials for their unique properties and their suitability for achieving his vision, which is always the driving force: Anodised aluminium is perfect making large colourful pieces that are lightweight and wearable; the flexibility of silicone rubber allows Verto necklaces to twist and mould to the wearer; gold remains remarkably strong even when rolled to the thickness of paper. It’s all about what’s right for the piece.

 

movement - dance - life

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Movement is an extremely important element of John’s work because, in his eyes, if something has movement it has life.

In his early years John immersed himself in dancing, playing musical instruments and making objects, usually ones that could either be worn, like wings or a mask, or they could be brought to life with movement, such as kites, puppets and automata sculpture.

John observes that just as a puppet or a musical instrument comes to life when it is picked up, something magical happens when a person puts on a piece of jewellery - it becomes a part of them, it moves with them, it comes to life. He sees the potential to create a symbiotic relationship between the object and wearer. His pieces happily exist as sculptural objects in their own right but they are inherently meant to be worn in order to be complete.  Object and wearer become one. The edge/boundary of the body extends beyond the skin to the new edges of the jewellery, like the scales of a fish or the feathers of a bird. Of course birds and fish can grow their impressive finery while John can never escape the prosthetic nature of his work, at least not in this plane of reality. But therein lies the opportunity to imagine and create.

Beside his choice of materials, the movement quality of John’s pieces is in the assembly of multiple components, in the same way that a spine is comprised of multiple vertebrae, allowing it to flex in different directions. The same principal can be observed in the natural phenomenon murmuration seen in flocks of birds and shoals of fish. Each individual is moving in response to its immediate neighbours, creating something much greater than the sum of the parts. Like an orchestra comprised of many instruments, the effect is awe-inspiring and extraordinarily beautiful.

Life is a dance.

 

 

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Photograph by Chris Bulezuik

Photograph by Chris Bulezuik

 

Awards

The Goldsmiths’ Company Award. Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Awards 2019

IJL Gold Award for Silver Jewellery. Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Awards 2019

The Goldsmiths' Company Award. Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Awards 2016

IJL Gold Award for Silver Jewellery. Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Awards 2016

Silver Award for Silver Jewellery, sponsored by Brown and Newirth. Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Awards 2016

IJL Editor's Choice Award for Technical Excellence. International Jewellery London 2016

WCC Europe EUNIQUE Award 2011. World Crafts Council

Finalist for Young Designer of the Year 2011

Kayman Award 2008 - National Association of Jewellery (formerly the British Jewellers Association - BJA)


Public Collections

The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas, USA

National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK


Private Collectors

Tiqui Atencio

Tuan Lee

Olnick Spanu Collection

Lady Helen Hamlyn

Robert Hiller

Dr Sarah Siegler

Suzanne Sanders


Professional Partnership

Advisor to the ACJ - Association for Contemporary Jewellery