The annual Gallery Student Art Awards are open to Jersey students currently enrolled on Art and Design Foundation degree courses in the United Kingdom (including the Jersey based Art Foundation and Degree course). Students are invited to submit work in any media, which may include final pieces and works in progress. Shortlisted candidates are then given the opportunity to exhibit their work in a dedicated exhibition at CCA Galleries International.

Since graduating in 2014 from the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, former Gallery Student Art Awards winner Laura Syvret, has worked in London gaining valuable experience working for a jewellery company, experience which she has subsequently brought back to her current role here in Jersey.  We caught up with her to find out what else she’s been doing since 2014.

What have you been up to since you graduated in 2014?
After graduating in Jewellery and Metalwork I took on some exhibitions and ended up moving to London. I interned for a jewellery company where I took on everything from designing, photo shoots, pop-up shows and London fashion week. It was nice to be given free reign in the industry and this is how I got into PR and Marketing. I am now back on ‘the rock’ working for The Refinery as a PR Executive.

How does your art fit around your day job?
I’m currently focussing on my (still quite new) job and learning so much from The Refinery family.  I involve my creative side whenever I can, painting and illustrating for friends (and sometimes for Gallery). I definitely intend to bring my jewellery designs out of the sketch book one day… when I have time!

How would you describe your work?
I always find this tricky to explain… I’d like to think that the pieces are communicative, intricate and thought provoking. My latest jewellery and illustrations use juxtaposition to touch on the conflict between natural and urban environments.

What mediums do you use?
I use mainly silver and sometimes concrete within my Jewellery. When it comes to illustrations all I need is a piece of paper and a pen.

Are there any artists in particular that inspire you and your work?
Loads! But the person who inspired me initially is probably Eina Ahluwali – a fantastic jeweller who uses her jewellery as a form of personal and social activism… and it’s really beautiful! I seem to like artists / jewellers who use there work to communicate something meaningful.

Do you have a favourite gallery/museum?
It’s not really a gallery that’s available all year round, but RAW artists is an incredible, underground showcase of independent artists. Everything from art, film, fashion design, music, performance art, hair and makeup and photography is unleashed in an annual underground event – check it out!

What projects have you been involved in since you entered the GSAA in 2014?
I’ve been involved in a few exhibitions in Jersey and London, including a showcase at the OXO Tower and an another at the Mall Galleries in London. Now I’m back in Jersey, I hope to find some new projects to get stuck into.

Is there a particular commission that you would like to get so much that you’d forego the fee?
One day I’d like to have the opportunity to travel more and find ways that my jewellery can contribute and not just communicate. At the moment my jewellery is all about provoking thoughts, it would be great to see these thoughts turn into actions. If you look at Eina Ahluwalia, Saught Jewellery, Pippa Small and The Brave Collection, they all use their work in this way.

If you could own one piece of work from any of the grand masters what would it be?
Probably one of René Lalique’s original pieces of jewellery. The enamel colours are amazing. The only jeweller that I have come across today, who can match Lalique’s work, is Ilgiz Fazulzyanov. His rings are stunning and it’s so rare to see craftsmanship like that today. The only problem is, if I owned one, it would be so elaborate I would probably never wear it!

Would you have any advice to anyone who’s considering entering the awards this year?
Do it! It’s such a great way to mix with like minded creative-sapians.

Is there anywhere we can go to find out more about your upcoming work?
I keep my website up to date with my new work www.laurasyvret.co.uk