Jack Cunningham - Practice Based PHD

The focus of this research lies within the field of contemporary studio jewellery, a discipline that has a variety of strands that includes the purely aesthetic, technique led, through concept based to architectonic. A further hybrid of contemporary jewellery is the narrative genre. More specifically this research examines how narrative might be defined and takes a position viewed from a European perspective.

Chapter 1, Rationale & Contextual Review, examines contemporary studio jewellery and positions a definition of narrative jewellery within this wider framework.

Chapter 2, Defining the Field, identifies global paradigms. The interrogation of the subject examines the correlation between themes and subject matter and the ethnographic factors that influence creative outcomes. The hypothesis proposes that these creative outcomes are universal in their translation whilst reflecting a relationship between environmental influence and ethnographic origin

Chapter 3, Narrative Themes, presents an overview of current European makers. Through the author's role as exhibition curator, this chapter identifies prevalent themes and preoccupations selected from the exhibition ‘Maker-Wearer-Viewer’ which surveyed the work of over seventy makers from twenty European countries.

Chapter 4, Source, Process & Practice, locates the author’s self-reflective practice within the field by examining the correlation of narrative subject matter, source material and the creative process employed. The importance of source material and its influence on the creative process is examined through reflexive practice. Further research examines the interactive relationship between the maker and wearer, and the response of the viewer.

Through practice-based research, the design and making process, the authors’ narrative jewellery is clearly defined within a wider context.