Interview: Catching Up With Georgie Brooks
We visited Georgie Brooks in her new home studio, met the horses that inspired her maker’s mark, and get a glimpse of what she’s been working on for our upcoming Desire/Defiance exhibition. Read the full interview below:
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a couple of commissions which are mainly engagement rings, and I am also creating a piece for the e.g.etal 25 years exhibition : desire/defiance launching in November.
For my exhibition piece I wanted to expand on some rings that I have made before. I am working with some really big stones in freeform shapes which I have designed and had custom cut. The concept for them is the idea of defiance. Who says you have to wear a diamond ring when you get married? Why can’t you wear a beautiful aquamarine or brightly coloured sapphire, or stones that have unusual cuts? So it’s about that journey about creating something that’s completely one off and unconventional, which then becomes part of the wearer.
You’ve just moved into a new home studio. Has this new space refreshed your practice in any way?
I think the new space has allowed me to really focus. At the stage I’m in with my life with kids and all their activities it’s really busy, so it’s been really good to have a fresh professional environment to work in near home so I’m not racing from place to place.
I’ve been in shared spaces forever, which I’ve really liked too but I think at the moment I prefer to work here and if I really want to see someone I can pick up the phone.
What do you think contemporary jewellery means to the people who wear it?
That’s a really hard question and I think about it a lot. People have worn jewellery ever since the beginning of time, and I feel that people come to me for a piece and it almost becomes part of them, and part of their collective memory of their life.
I also think contemporary jewellery is something that should be timeless, which means I don’t think it should draw upon fashion. I’ve never looked at other pieces of jewellery for inspiration because I feel then that it doesn’t stand the test of time. Every piece is completely unique, handmade, and possibly something that has never been made before so it’s really more like it’s like an artwork. Unlike traditional jewellery, contemporary jewellery is not about status, which is what jewellery has typically been about. It’s about the feeling you get when you look at it.
Thoughts on projects for the future?
I would love to have a show featuring big men’s rings with stones. But at the moment I’m just wanting to continue developing my current collection further by researching deeper into new parts of history and and see where that can take me. This year is a bit of a pause because I had a big show last year, so needing a little rest before moving into the next thing.
e.g.etal has been amazing because they give you the opportunity to make one off pieces, which can be really costly for a gallery. Because I do have that opportunity, everything I usually make is different and there’s a wide variety in my stock range. Every single piece I make I think ‘that’s a nice thing’, and then it evolves into the next piece and moves that way. I’ve never been the kind of person who just sits there and draws and sketches. The two pieces I have made for the exhibition I didn’t do a drawing, I’ve just made them and that’s how I’ve always worked, and if it stuffs up I just start again. I think that’s why I enjoy working in wax because you can just keeping redoing and trying.
Georgie’s work will be part of e.g.etal’s upcoming exhibition ‘Desire/Defiance’, opening at e.g.etal on Thursday 2nd of November.