My work is heavily influenced by the "chaotic" and overwhelming feelings that come from living through the Anthropocene. Interview with Lucy Pearl Petts, Winner of the New Talents Award 2022 by Klimt02

Interview  /  NewTalentsByKlimt02   Artists
Published: 03.02.2023
Lucy Pearl Petts Lucy Pearl Petts
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Lucy Pearl Petts. Brooch: Abyss, 2022. PLA, aluminium, silver.. 19 x 8 x 18 cm. Photo by: Jess Hay. Awarded at: New Talents Award 2022 by Klimt02. 8th Edition. From series: Chaos. Lucy Pearl Petts
Brooch: Abyss, 2022
PLA, aluminium, silver.
19 x 8 x 18 cm
Photo by: Jess Hay
Awarded at: New Talents Award 2022 by Klimt02. 8th Edition
From series: Chaos
© By the author. Read Copyright.

I am inspired often by work that uses colour and texture in unique and explorative ways. I have always found the work of Grayson Perry to be inspiring, particularly the series of tapestries The Vanity of Small Differences.

Congratulations on winning the New Talent Award in 2022! Please tell us a bit about yourself and how did you get on the path to contemporary jewellery?
I’m a jeweller and object-maker from Devon but currently reside in Glasgow. I studied for an extended diploma in Fine Art at Exeter College where I was able to begin exploring contemporary jewellery and my artistic practice in a 3D modelling workshop. I found jewellery making to be the perfect blend of my interests and an exciting medium of adornment and expression. I moved to Glasgow to study Silversmithing and Jewellery Design at the Glasgow School of Art where I received a First Class BA Honours. Studying at GSA was a pivotal experience in developing my skills as an artist - having the opportunity to experiment and push my preconceptions about jewellery allowed me to develop a unique approach to jewellery and object-making within this industry.
Could you describe your daily routine when you were studying at the Glasgow School of Art?
My time at the Glasgow School of Art was very varied due to the pandemic and having to come up with new ways of working during lockdowns. During studio hours, I spent much of my time creating and experimenting with 3D modelling software and discovered that I wanted to develop a final collection using the 3D printer. Working with the 3D printer allowed me to always have something in the works, while printing a new design I could assemble the last and so on - I found this flow to have a real positive effect on my creativity. There was a collaborative and conversational approach to working alongside other students and I was supported, and encouraged, to push my ideas further. There was the opportunity for 1 on 1 and group critiques during project timetables and the enthusiasm and criticism from peers and staff enabled me to reflect upon my practice and work in a constructive way.

What’s local and universal in your work?
The pieces are made from plant-based biodegradable plastic adorned with marbled aluminium and small silver embellishment features. I want my work to adorn the body on an oversized and large scale but without the heavy weight. I select materials to adhere to these forms and ideas, with wearable practicability considered. My practice draws inspiration from both analogue and digital design methods alongside maximalist Queer aesthetics. 
My work is heavily influenced by the “chaotic” and overwhelming feelings that come from living through the Anthropocene. Using a selection of satellite imagery such as, volcanic eruptions, shock waves rippling across oceans, and melting icecaps, I reflect the approaching climate apocalypse in bubbling bulbous and swirling forms that contribute to the main structures of my pieces. The printed aluminium running throughout the work originate from personal analogue collages inspired by global news themes of unjust governments, civil unrest and the climate crisis with imagery collected from National Geographic magazines. These collages are distorted digitally to create the swirling chasm that hides behind or in the work.
However, this collection attempts to use this information in a way to bring a sense of joy and hope despite these hurdles, materialising in the form of amulets and tokens of good luck or perhaps a panic button for modern life. The pieces aim to initiate vital conversations of positive reform or provide comfort to the wearer with their inviting iridescent colours, alluring forms and hidden ornamentation.
Tell us a moment, work, or thought from art history (including the most recent one) that impressed you and you think influenced your work?
I am inspired often by work that uses colour and texture in unique and explorative ways. I have always found the work of Grayson Perry to be inspiring, particularly the series of tapestries The Vanity of Small Differences. The mash-up of traditional craft and machine production, alongside social commentary and bold use of colour and overall in-your-face maximalism, I find to be symbolic and delightful. I also enjoy how accessible his work is, that people from all backgrounds and ages can find enjoyment from the artworks.

How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
I find networking to be a very important aspect of my professional practice, although this is not something that comes naturally to me - I much prefer the designing and making side of things. I have found that exhibiting has allowed me to meet such a range of exciting and new individuals and is a great time for putting faces to social media profiles and jewels. Selling at fares has also been a great experience of meeting the public and getting first-hand feedback and seeing how they interact with my work.

After graduation, how is your career going so far? Do you have any news or plans to share with us?
Since graduating I have been awarded some great experiences and opportunities. During the degree show at GSA I was awarded Incorporation of Hammermen Prize, Creative Enterprise Award and selected for one of Fife Contemporary New Maker awards. This granted me with some funding to buy a 3D printer and materials to carry on making outside of the GSA studios and access to advice and mentoring. Getting to exhibit at New Designers, London last summer granted me the opportunity to grow my network beyond Glasgow and get the chance to meet lots of peers from design schools across the UK, industry workers and the wider public. It was through ND that I was awarded Association of Contemporary Jewellers, Mark Fenn Award and was selected for a mentorship programme with Harriet Vine, Tatty Devine. I was also shortlisted for ARTSTHREAD’s Global Design Graduate Show in Collaboration with Gucci, this is how my work came to the attention of Bella Neyman, and as a result, my work was part of Bella and Sienna Patti’s exhibition Exuberance as part of New York City Jewelry Week in November 2022. This was a surreal experience getting to visit such an exciting city and seeing my work alongside Helen Britton’s.
I have been blown away with the positive response to my work and often can’t quite believe the successes I have been granted. I am extremely excited for this opportunity to exhibit with Klimt02 and can’t wait to see where this year shall take me and my practice.