I’ve had the pleasure of working with Photo London since its launch in 2015. Having created the ‘Master of Photography’ award for previous winners Sebastião Salgado, Don McCullin, and Taryn Simon, I was thrilled this year to design an original piece of work for another hugely talented photographic artist, Edward Burtynsky.
To begin, I spent some time immersing myself in his work, drawn to the birds-eye view he uses and the incredible detail of textures and vibrant colour he captures. Listening to Burtynsky describe the photographs as a documentation of what we as humans do to our earth really inspired me to keep the design clean, simple and a reflection of his ideas.
“We come from nature. There is an importance to having a certain reverence for what nature is because we are connected to it. If we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.”
– Edward Burtynsky
The choice of materials was crucial in accentuating both the origins of the idea and the bold feel of the design. As this collection of Burtynsky’s work is about industry and mining, I wanted to use tough, uncompromising materials. Sterling silver sheet was manipulated into a column with one curved edge, alongside Jesmonite, a composite resin that is commonly used to repair buildings and recreate architectural details. I also used ‘Old Terracotta’ to highlight the rich earthly tones featured in Burtynky’s work, with a stone grain to add texture.
By enhancing the blue rhodium plating on the vertical curve, a high polish finish brings out the deep uneven petrol colour, reminiscent of some of his works with oil spills. A deconstruction of the Photo London logo is based on the top of the award, as if inlaid into the Jesmonite, encouraging the viewer to look at the award from above, much like in the artist’s work.
It’s a continued honour to work with Photo London and create tactile, expressive pieces of work that recognise some of the world’s best photographers and artists. Outside of jewellery, we are always keen to hear about potential commissions that are sculptural in nature, so please do get in touch if you would like to discuss a collaboration.