Aurelia Yeomans – Jewellery for the Body and the Gallery

At the heart of contemporary jewellery is a deep appreciation for the intersection of art and design. This shines through the work of Aurelia Yeomans.

By Reanne Chidiac

At the heart of contemporary jewellery is a deep appreciation for the intersection of art and design. This shines through the work of Aurelia Yeomans, a contemporary fine jeweller based in Melbourne, Australia. Her hand-crafted gold, silver and steel jewellery is wearable art: small sculptural pieces inspired by the science of nature and made with the exactitude of a jeweller

Images sourced: Aurelia Yeomans

Seeing her work is like looking through a microscope at natural specimens. On a blown-up scale, we witness Yeomans’s interpretation of the crystalising of snowflakes, the Earth’s rocky surface and the frequencies of freezing water. In her collections, you will find ceremonial jewellery like engagement rings and wedding rings, but this is not traditional jewellery—this is functional art, made for the body and the gallery. 

Yeomans’s work is founded on years of study and practice. She received her technical jewellery training at the Arenhaus College in Schwäbisch Gmünd, southern Germany’s centre for traditional goldsmithing. She then continued with a BA with Honours in Fine Arts at RMIT University in Melbourne. 

International exhibition and recognition followed closely at her heels as she exhibited her work throughout Europe and gained acclaim as a finalist in numerous prestigious awards. These include the Alliages Legacy Award in France in 2016 and Australia’s distinguished Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery in 2018. Her work is shown at high-profile fairs like the Collect Fair in London, Frame at the IHM International Trade Fair in Munich, Australia’s own Radiant Pavilion and the Artistar Jewels at Milano Jewellery Week. Unsurprisingly, her work has been published in various catalogues and magazines and has been acquired for private and public collections in Australia and Europe. 

Images supplied by Aurelia Yeomans

It is Yeomans’s innovative design approach that sets her apart as a contemporary jeweller. Her collections pride themselves on viewing the world from a unique perspective, and her aesthetic is distinguished by her material experimentation. For her, the jewellery we adorn ourselves with can exceed the limits of fashion trends and find form through conceptualisation and exploration. There is a strong focus in her practice on sentimentality and on human-Earth synergy. From a carbon offset footprint to green banking, her commitment to sustainability goes beyond nature-inspired designs. Her collections sold online include popular engagement rings featuring salt and pepper diamonds, art-deco-inspired geometry and rose-cut gemstones.

Yet, she hasn’t strayed from material exploration with steel and enamel. The mixing of precious and non-precious materials garnered her art jewellery international recognition. Cycles 1 & 2, the exquisite monotone brooches that placed her as a Funaki Finalist in 2018, were made with mild steel, enamel, hematite, cast glass, cubic zirconia and stainless steel. Her practice harbours no fear of less precious materials. This may be what draws both jewellery collectors and gallerists to her work: she has not sacrificed wearability, lightness and comfort as she pushes her own creative boundaries.

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