Beginning in the 1970’s, Ruudt Peters, a pioneering Dutch conceptual jewellery artist, challenged traditional definitions of adornment by pushing the boundaries of context, wearability, materials and presentation. A leader in art jewellery in Holland, Peters exemplifies a mode of expression that is unmistakably Dutch. He has exerted a strong influence on the development of contemporary jewellery as an artist and as a professor at some of the most prestigious universities in Europe, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and Konstfack University of Arts and Crafts in Stockholm, where he taught until 2009. At the moment Peters is professor at Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery school
Until recently I had only every seen Ruudt’s work in books – and I found his ideas, his works and his installations incredibly inspiring. I was drawn in by the variety of his work, fine craftsmanship, aesthetic quality supported by strong conceptual basis, and innovative installation. Ruudt talks about being inspired both by the fields of jewellery and fine arts, and of the importance of gut instinct and the role of the unconscious in the creative process
While in Amsterdam in 2013 I was lucky enough to have a chance encounter with Ruudt as he was installing his new show Qi at Gallerie Rob Koudjis.. This show had a huge impact on me, and epitomised many of the things that I seek from my own practice. For example, transformation of ideas and experiences into a cohesive body of work incorporating drawings, sculpture and jewellery; great craftsmanship balanced with the letting-go-of-control; and the use of both abstract and more representational forms for creative expression.
In July of this year, I will be returning to the Netherlands to attend one of Ruudt’s week-long summer schools. This opportunity to meet and work with Ruudt in person in combination with our pairing as mentor-mentee through Handshake promises to be an incredibly exciting experience and a once-in-lifetime opportunity!