A colourful array of Perspex® acrylic is at the forefront of a Crafts Council summer exhibition celebrating London based jewellery designers Tatty Devine’s 20-year anniversary now open at Central Saint Martins’ Lethaby Gallery, London, before embarking on a UK-wide tour.
Tatty Devine’s statement jewellery is always ahead of the curve. Their jewellery tells stories and generates conversation. This summer, a new Crafts Council exhibition, Misshapes: The making of Tatty Devine, will consider the power of creativity and innovative British design and making, alongside the glamour and humour that Tatty Devine are known for.
The exhibition will be the first about the design duo, Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden, who met at Chelsea College of Art and founded Tatty Devine when they graduated in 1999. They soon started trading from a market stall in east London and developed a signature style that saw them lauded in Vogue and stocked in Harvey Nichols and Whistles within the year. They discovered laser-cut acrylic on a trip to New York in 2001. On their return, they invested in a laser-cutting machine, rarely used in jewellery at that time, which then gave them a creative freedom to push the boundaries, with many of their designs featuring vibrant Perspex® acrylic colours..
Something they continue to do to this day.
The 20th anniversary will also see the publication of a new book and a special jewellery collection, re-imagining some of Tatty Devine’s best-loved pieces from their 5,000 strong archive.
In the early years, Tatty Devine’s DIY, unknowingly anarchic approach resonated with an industry and public who were hungry for something different from the commercialised, mass-produced products on offer. Turning disposable objects like guitar plectrums and cake decorations into playful personality-packed jewellery resonated with people and led to fans all over the world, as well as collaborations with musicians, artists and fashion designers.
20 years after pioneering attention-grabbing laser cut jewellery, all their pieces are still made by hand in the UK. They remain culturally relevant as they continue to design bold pieces for campaigns close to their hearts, such as Fawcett Society, Comic Relief and Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, and they are passionate advocates for the power of creativity.
Misshapes will feature over 100 pieces from the past 20 years, including the early leather cuffs and piano belts alongside sketchbooks, ephemera and two new films. Perspex® acrylic is most apparent within giant two metre versions of their ‘greatest hits’ including a lobster, their magpies and a huge banana. Also, newer pieces that show how Tatty Devine continues to embrace technology and cultural shifts.
The book Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine will track the development of Tatty Devine’s aesthetic, techniques and creativity. It will present pieces from their archive, going under the bonnet of how they think and make, with extracts from their sketchbooks and notebooks, and plenty of visual treats. Championing creativity, running throughout the book will be an inclusive ‘we did it, you can too’ ethos.
Tatty Devine will be producing a one-off 20th anniversary collection featuring 20 reimagined Tatty Devine classics from their many collections, including Pegasus wings, lightning bolts, price tags and the pouring gin fizz bottle. The collection will be available from Tatty Devine and Lethaby Gallery from 20 July.
Perspex Distribution are pleased be a supporting partner for the show alongside Hindleys.
Following the London exhibition, the exhibition continues to tour until 2021.
Lethaby Gallery, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA 20 July – 11 August 2019
The Wilson, Cheltenham 7 September - 9 November 2019
De Montfort University Gallery, Leicester 16 November 2019 – 1 February 2020
Ty Pawb, Wrexham 10 July – 13 September 2020
New Brewery Arts, Cirencester 26 June – 6 September 2021
Tatty Devine is an independent British business designing and manufacturing original jewellery in the United Kingdom. Their jewellery is made in Kent. Tatty Devine has two stores in London in Brick Lane and Covent Garden and is sold around the globe.
@tattydevinefanpage on Facebook
@tattydevine on Instagram and Twitter
Founded in 1971 and incorporated by Royal Charter, the Crafts Council is a charity that promotes the advancement of contemporary craft. Through exhibitions, publications, education programmes, and curating the national Collection, we champion the UK’s foremost makers and present contemporary craft in new ways, challenging perceptions of what craft is and can be. Its work is made possible by the support of trusts and foundations, individual patrons, and corporate sponsors, and through public funding by Arts Council England.
@CraftsCouncilUK on Twitter and Facebook
@craftscouncil on Instagram
The Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, UAL
Central Saint Martins, UAL is globally renowned for the creative energy of its students, staff and graduates. The Lethaby Gallery is an exhibition space dedicated to showcasing the work of the Central Saint Martins community. The gallery also collaborates with external cultural partners to deliver a varied and challenge programme of exhibitions which are open to the public and free to attend. Recent exhibitions include the Central Saint Martins degree shows, MAKE, a showcase for the college’s local engagement projects, the first student-led exhibition, The Age of New Babylon and Caroline Broadhead: a retrospective.
Central Saint Martins is part of University of the Arts London (UAL), an international centre for innovative teaching and research in arts, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts. The University is made up of six Colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon
College of Arts.