Benjamin Lignel has distinguished himself with distinct careers as a design led maker, artist, researcher, theorist, commentator of contemporary jewellery, curator and editor.

I am excited to have him as my mentor for Handshake 4 because I am now developing my long held interest in installation and this experience will add much to my practice. I chose Benjamin for his wealth of knowledge on exhibiting and installation, plus the brilliance of his writing in the field of contemporary jewellery. I’m confident his critique will give me insight for continuing to evolve as an artist.

Benjamin Lignel Raise, 2012 Gold-plated steel, steel, mylar, ink Edition of 10 + 2 AP Diameter: 52mm Photo: Enrico Bartolucci


Benjamin Lignel Lingam, the short, collapsible version, 2009 Gold-plated silver, steel, nylon Edition of 3 Hight: approximately 19 cm Photo: Enrico Bartolucci

“An educational toy for the 21st century man”

‘Lingam’ was developed in response to Ruudt Peters’ invitation – extended to over 100 artists – to re-interpret this votive representation of Hindu god Shiva.

Benjamin Lignel Replay (comb, hairpin and wedding ring), 2009 Glass, FIMO, sparkle, water Dimensions variable Larger glass: 25 cm Photo: Enrico Bartolucci

Let us imagine a scenario in which the existence of a thing is contingent on its inaccessibility. In this scenario, an object – like, say, a wedding ring – and the things it stand for – in my example, the wedding itself – become dissociated (it  may be that the ring’s designated user ‘prefers to watch’, that (s)he favors the thrill of fantasy over the bite of participation: we shall never know). Taking this logic to its bitter but exciting end, one could imagine an object that is pure tease, and and offers nothing else but its taunting presence ‘behind glass’.

Shake it, baby, shake it.

The ‘replay’ series was developed towards an exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery, for which jewellery makers had to ‘respond’ to a pre-Raphaelite painting. This show was curated by Jo Bloxham.

Pin It on Pinterest