Joanna Campbell has been making contemporary jewellery since 2001. A certain quality is persistant across the spectrum of her exhibiton work, commercial lines and public and private commissions.

Joanna's professional experience in dressmaking, jewellery and film, fuses a multiplicity of skills and concerns. It is an approach that ties the strands of traditional silver and gold smithing to those of technical innovation in fashion. This connection produces objects that are both complex and compelling. Still, there is something more, a sensibility that is indefinable. Joanna seems to unravel the potentials of metals as if they are bolts of vintage skills, laces and crepes.

Since presenting her work for the Dowse Thomas Foundation Gold Award (2002) Joanna has taken the structual basis of the rosette piece further, unfolding its architecture to reveal the material with a deceptively simple gesture. An untouched appearance and an intricate lacework applies the scale of the hand to the dimensions of the fabric. The pieces now hang like heavy silk, they move with the wave like pulse of a classically draped gown.

The new pieces, the cutting edge of her practise, represent only an aspect of Joanna's total output. Integral to her growing practise are a number of commercially successful lines. For her, a commercial line does not have to be devoid of conceptual depth, rather the objects become like envoys in the communication between maker and wearer. Joanna wants to know how the object feels; how it makes the wearer feel, and this inquisitive desire is at the centre of an essential quality in her work.

It is a dialogue between maker and object that requires a total approach. She seems to be bridging the distance between the radiance of the object and the radiance of the wearer. Producing an ongoing project whose driving force is the synthesis of new beautiful things with the history of beautiful things.

Selene Forester