When the Louisa Guinness Gallery commissioned its ‘Interpreting Stone’ exhibition in 2013, New York-based artist Rob Wynne chose to use a stone from the bottom of his fish tank. He had the valueless stone faceted and polished like a precious gem, and then claw set in 18ct gold.
Wynne pushes the boundaries of kitsch and beauty, sappiness and profundity, in the many mediums in which he works. He uses a range of techniques to express himself by making installations, drawings and canvases. Text is key to his work; he often uses hand-blown letters in wall-mounted pieces that say exquisite and absurd things both thought provoking and humorous.
Wynne’s jewellery has taken many forms. He has made pieces shaped like octopuses and spiders, made a ring cast from his own finger, and created pendants in the guise of a solid gold penny and a solid gold cent (normal legal tender is made from bronze).
He will make a signet ring to order, using the fingerprint of the individual wearer as a design. Throughout, his work on the small scale always carries a story and is always exquisitely made. ‘All the iconography and some of the materials that I use reference my art,’ explains Wynne. ‘An enjoyable collaboration was when Louisa asked me to incorporate a non-precious material, resulting in my PEBBLE ring, where a simple stone was cut like a diamond and set in a ring.’