Jonathan Boyd is a multi-award-winning artist, jeweller and academic working in a variety of materials, specialising in conceptual and narrative-led artworks. His research focuses on exploring the relationships of language and object.
His practice-led, critically reflective research employs an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing digital and analogue working methods placing jewellery at the centre of the dynamic relationship between person and thing.
Jonathan's artworks can be found in public and private collections internationally including the Victoria and Albert Museum (U.K) and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (USA). He is represented by Gallery SO in London and Gallery Marzee in The Netherlands.
Prior to joining the RCA, Jonathan was a lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art for nine years and he has degrees from the RCA and GSA.
Jonathan’s research explores textual and visual languages and their connection to the environment, the person and object as a set of complex narratives. Informed by how language shapes thought and how it aims to articulate our perceptions of material reality Jonathan is interested in how philosophy, social theory, art theory and applied arts practice can fuse to inform our understanding of jewellery and our engagement with things.
His aim is to create jewellery as form of creative and critical reflection, creating works through an extensive period of library research and a rigorous artistic methodology. Jonathan believes that as an art form, jewellery connects with us on a visceral, emotional level. We embed memories in the objects we choose to wear/carry; because of this, he has always believed that jewellery is a perfect medium for exploring narratives and themes that explore the human experience.
As a practice-led researcher, innovation within craft and making processes plays a secondary but significant part within his research continually developing interactions between digital and analogue manufacturing processes.
Jonathan is an artist and jeweller working in a variety of materials, specialising in conceptual work and complex lost wax casting techniques. The works he creates, and exhibits explore relationships between the sculptural, art, design and the wearable. His research and practice open up interdisciplinary aspects within the field of jewellery, using film, digital media, sound and design.
In 2014 he was the designer and lead manufacturer of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Medals, Packaging and Commemorative medals. These medals were seen by an audience of over 2 billion.
His works can be found in private and public collections internationally, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A Dundee, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Spencer Museum of Art Kansas, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Missouri, the Arkansas Arts Centre, the Scottish Parliament, Glasgow Life Museum’s and The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
2019 Royal College of Art Research Development Grant
2010 Scottish Arts Council Grant
2017 Best New Design, The Worshipful Company Goldsmith's
2013 Beijing International Metalwork Exhibition Prize
2012 BKV Young Applied Artist Finalist. Munich
2010 Best New Design, Goldsmith's
2009 Galerie Marzee International Student Award
2009 Theo Fennel Overall Excellence RCA Graduate Show
2008 Sloane Square Award
2007–2009 Donald Dewar Award for Exceptional Scottish Talent, Scottish Executive
2007 New Designer of the Year, British Design Council
Current and recent projects
Jewellery Manifest; Jewellery, Language, Objects and Other Thoughts
Jewellery Manifest; Jewellery, Objects, Language and Other Thoughts was a book released in September 2019. Utilizing but subverting the traditional paperback format, it employed distinct chapter headings, concrete prose, image, anthropology and philosophical/theoretical discussion critiquing the past 10 years of my own practice and theorising more broadly about the role of jewellery and language. The texts take my practice as a personal, subjective and original starting point and reference for exploring the themes of jewellery, text/language and object. Speaking to a lack of written artist critique within the field of jewellery it looks at examples within fine art as influences. Research covered areas of Deconstruction, Art Theory, Speculative Realism and Anthropological Material Culture, supporting a new theory of Jewellery challenging existing paradigms. In particular, I explored the relationship between Derridean philosophies and their relationship to the text forms contained within my practice.
Beyond the Bench: Extending the Jeweller’s Studio
Consisting a series of artworks which included finished pieces of jewellery supported by short film documentaries. The research innovates via the use of photogrammetry as a mobile tool for creating site-specific work/jewellery. This research uses photogrammetry as a mobile and intuitive practice creating a distinct attachment between place and artefact. For each artwork, testing and a rigorous iterative process was essential to find the correct or desirable quality of mesh for the intended outcome. Documenting film was essential for gaining reflection and was exhibited alongside the artworks. Jewellery and place are interlinked, often inseparable. In this project jewellery serves as a communication tool speaking of the environment it inhabits, the regional and cultural influences of the wearer and wider society. The mobility of photogrammetry allowed for exploration of the urban environment and the use, and elevation, of everyday objects to design for fine jewellery. Capturing the process on film was integral part of reflection within the project and these films were shown alongside the jewellery in exhibitions including Blooming Jewels at Contemporary Applied Arts in London, Connected (group exhibition which toured internationally in Copenhagen, Munich and Glasgow) and Unnamed Collaboration Project with artist Euan McKenzie at the Briggait in Glasgow. The projects received significant coverage. Many of the objects are now in permanent collections in the USA (Nelson Atkins Museum and Little Rock Arkansas Arts Centre), the UK (Goldsmiths Company Collection and V&A Dundee). The research process was explained in work presentations given at The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Glasgow School of Art, and University of the Arts London (2017, 2018).
Thoughts Between the Land and the Sea: Raising the Doggerland
Thoughts between the Land and Sea: Raising the Doggerland was a solo show held at Gallery SO, London throughout September 2019. The exhibition showcased a fusion of jewellery works, wall-mounted artworks, film, animation and written text. Research sought to expand, interrogate and visualise socio-political possibilities through the mediums of Jewellery and interdisciplinary art forms. Jewellery has a long history of worn objects signifying one’s political stance. This exhibition expanded on historical and socio-political possibilities of jewellery through more complex, subtle and interrogating narratives. The exhibition employed multimedia image and object to create a continuous narrative of a raised Doggerland (the sunken patch of land connecting the UK to Europe) from which the artist reviewed and critiqued the UK’s current dilemmas. Taking inspiration from art theory and fine art practice works, Doggerland challenged traditional questions of autonomy/symbiosis within jewellery, wearability, the role of research within jewellery production, and presented jewellery as social documents contained within individual titled document folders/books. Library research included philosophy, journalism and social theory. Of particular importance was the work of Roland Barthes (Mythologies), Simon Critchley (Notes on Suicide), Greek Mythology, the contemporary British press, and use of fictionalised dystopian lands to provide a narrative structure for artworks. Doggerland has been used as founding material for lectures during its run at Gallery SO (receiving the highest footfall for a talk at the gallery), Glasgow School of Art and the RCA. Many of the artworks will be showcased at Collect 2020. Works have since been exhibited in an exhibition at Gallery Marzee in Nijmegen and formed the basis of the lecture ‘I Can’t String a Sentence Together’ at the Society of Jewellery Historians.
Publications, exhibitions, and outcomes
Recent Selected Publications Referencing Boyd’s Work
Boyd, J (2019). Jewellery Manifest: Jewellery, Objects, Language and Other Thoughts. Glasgow, IPN.
Jewellery History Today (2019). ISSN:2042-8529
Game, A (2018). The Story of Scottish Design, Jewellery in Scotland. Thames and Hudson/ V&A.
Fenn, M (2017). Narrative Jewellery: Takes from the Toolbox. Shiffer
Greenhalgh, I (2017). Fleeting moments Made Solid (Jonathan Boyd on Silver and the City), Crafts JAN/FEB2017
(2020) COLLECT with Gallery SO, London
(2020) Beige, Group Show, Denmark and Germany
(2019) (Solo Show) Thoughts Between the Land and The Sea: Raising the Doggerland, Gallery SO, London
(2016) Connected, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Munich Jewellery Week
(2015&2016) SOFA Chicago, Crafts Scotland, Navy Pier, Chicago
(2016) Chain, Gallery S.O Brick Lane, London
(2015) Britain 2015, Galerie Elsa Vanier, Paris
(2015) Digital Dialogues, New Walk Museum, Leicester
(2013 & 2014) COLLECT with Tyger Glyn, Saatchi Gallery London
(2013) Subversive Design, Bright and Hove Museum, Brighton
(2013) Beijing International Metal Arts exhibition, Beijing
(2013) Eternal Platinum, Platinum Guild, Shanghai and multiple cities within China
(2011) COLLECT with Gallery Marzee, Saatchi Gallery, London
(2010) (Solo Show) Jonathan Mathew Boyd, AU, Glasgow
(2010-2017) Goldsmiths Fair
2018-Onwards, Co-Chair, Peter Dormer Committee
2016-2020, Council Advisory Board, CraftScotland
2014, Designer, Commonwealth Games Medals