Zoe Catherine Kendall at Kabiri

As part of London Jewellery Week, this eyeball-fixated jeweller will be creating a special window for Kabiri.

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Coutts New Jewellers Award winner Zoe Catherine Kendall is redefining the way that we look at jewellery with ‘A Window into Wearable Art’ that is being shown during London Jewellery Week at Kabiri Marylebone High Street. The new ‘Dead Deep’ collection presents us with a beguiling submarrean world with hand crafted unisex pieces including strange glassy eyed fantastical animals and a silver cast shark’s jaw submerged in an aquarium forming the centrepiece of the window display.  Zoe’s conceptual approach to jewellery-making was developed whilst studying jewellery design at Central St Martins (“I was dismayed at the level of commercialism in my fellow graduates' work, I couldn't understand why they didn't want to do something completely mad. I guess that was my role in the class dynamic”) And it seems like she plans to continue to shake things up with her new collection...

Dazed Digital: Tell me about London Jewellery week and how you see your work in it?
Zoe Catherine Kendall: “Winning the new jewellery award was amazing as it allowed me entry into the week without the big price tag, which often prevents the most creative work from being seen.
I see my work and the installation I've built as the 'creative bastion' during the week. It’s about jewellery in the context of art, and art in the context of jewellery. It's about saying, ‘fuck commercial jewellery, I'm going to do what I want’!  I think it will be one of the more controversial events on during the week, reminding the public that jewellery doesn't just have to be pretty, and it's not all about faceted diamonds or pretty flower motifs. This collection is about imperfections, surface details, skin. It's about intrigue, curiousity and and an appreciation for the natural world. Monsters, worms, humans too...! “

DD: What was the concept behind the collection.
Zoe Catherine Kendall: The Concept is a world ruled by destructive natural forces- weird beasts, sea monsters, dragons, the supernatural as well as the freaking scary natural stuff, like sharks! We've built an installation in homage to this half-real, half-imaginary world, and its the home to my jewellery collections. When i say 'we', i mean me, the aquarium company - New Era Aquaculture (who have been AMAZING with their sponsorship and support of my ideas), and Ted Pearce - this wonderful, off-the-wall illustrator, who only likes to work in felt-tips, and spends the rest of his time DJing as part of the Team Megamix - Ted Duet.
These new pieces, part of my new ongoing project entitled 'Dead Deep' are just the icing on the cake, a pre-curser to many more menacing and sometimes quite cute sea creatures, with fish eyes (I love the eyes more than anything). So I made a world for them, which also happily houses the land monsters I created in my Precious Creatures Collection.

DD: How was it an evolution from precious creatures?
Zoe Catherine Kendall: It was a very natural progression really. My precious creatures already hinted at weird little sea beings, so I took the next step towards sea monsters. I love these weird, terrifying and massive beasts that live below the waves, they are like aliens already living on our planet, it's just amazing that such things exist. I love the myth that surrounds it all too, the Kraken, this great squid that devours whole ships - and you can see that in some of Ted's drawings for the installation.

DD: So what is next for you and your work...?
Zoe Catherine Kendall: Well the 'Dead Deep' project will pick up speed after London Jewellery Week. I like the taxidermy element of the work I've been doing, and also the fantasy of the weird hybrid beasts Ive been making out of wax, it's like the real and the unreal, the facts, the myth and the legend, all tied up together.
In the future, expect more art-led practice, more pieces that cross the boundaries. I want to keep collaborating with other artists, to give context to my work and theirs, to mix and muddle it all up. I may even embark on some work that bares little or no relation to jewellery, although I love the relationship jewellery has to the body, so that element may remain. We could be talking costume and set, maybe sculpture, maybe art and illustration. Or perhaps all of the above…

Coutts London Jewellery Week is taking place June 8-14 across London.

Zoe Catherine Kendall will be showing at Kabiri Marylebone High Street from the 9th June.
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