Vicki Ambery-Smith creates delicate and ornate small-scale jewellery and boxes inspired by real and imaginary buildings. Especially attracted to the structural clarity and minimal ornament of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture, she also uses forms reminiscent of the modernist structures of Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright.
More recently she has become attracted to contemporary and future architecture, working on brooches based on Zaha Hadid’s bold, sweeping forms, a significant move away from the classic structures with which her jewellery is associated.
As all her jewellery is designed to be worn, and worn comfortably, the three-dimensional architectural structures on which she bases her work must be adapted rather than merely replicated in miniature, with the effect of distancing them further from their original referent. In this way, attention is drawn to the form of the pieces, and their intricate detail and definition. Far more than a representation of a building, each becomes an exquisite study of shape, surface, light and space as Vicki explores the language of architecture herself.
As a result of Vicki’s desire to go beyond representation, to ‘a more personal interpretation of the character of a building’, some pieces seem to have no direct referent but are highly suggestive of certain locations or eras, appearing as tiny stage sets, on to which the viewer can project their own dramas and personal narratives of place. In this way she plays with the power of architecture to inspire fantasy, trigger memory and evoke sensations.
Courtesy of the artist’s website.