1 October 2013
by Harriet Seabourne
British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN
8 October – 29 November
10am – 4pm Monday to Friday
The British Council today announced Gem: Contemporary Jewellery and Gemstones from Afghanistan, an exhibition of jewellery, gem-cutting and contemporary practices, which will go on show at its London headquarters on 8 October. The display is the result of collaboration with Turquoise Mountain, an Afghanistan-based organisation which promotes Afghan craft and design worldwide.
On show will be specially commissioned jewellery created by Turquoise Mountain artisans alongside pieces of contemporary jewellery design by UK designers including Pippa Small, Hattie Rickards, Vicki Sarge and Melanie Eddy. Curated by Melanie Eddy and designed by Will Shannon, Gem will explore the process and traditions behind gem-cutting in Afghanistan and examine how these techniques are applied to contemporary jewellery.
The British Council looks to create international opportunities for, and trust between, the peoples of the UK and Afghanistan through educational and cultural programmes. The British Council and Turquoise Mountain have been collaborating for several years and Gem illustrates this continuing work with local and international artisans to promote cultural activity in Afghanistan and to revive and develop the country’s traditional arts. The exhibition brings to life the personal stories of the jewellery makers and gem cutters, exploring how arts and culture can contribute to the rebuilding of a post conflict country.
The exhibition will also feature gems in their uncut forms, maps of their origins in Afghanistan and tools of the gem-cutting trade as well as a short film by Afghan documentary filmmaker Jawed Taiman which will document the making process.
Gem is a flagship event of the British Council’s new UK-South Asia season, a programme over the autumn of 2013 to celebrate and explore the cultural relationship and connections between the UK and South Asia.
The season will emphasise the importance of strong, lasting and mutually beneficial relationships in the cultural and educational spheres through eleven specially curated thematic events highlighting key issues of common interest, enabling the exchange of views and experiences and offering opportunities for future collaboration.
For more information visit: www.britishcouncil.org/press/south-asia-season