KEVIN COATES

    Known for his technical brilliance and the symbolic imagery of his work, Kevin Coates is considered by many to be Britain’s leading artist-goldsmith. A true Renaissance Man, Coates is also a musician specializing in the baroque mandolin and has performed in concerts and recitals throughout Europe as well as a mathematician; his PhD thesis was titled, A study of the use of Geometry and Proportional systems in the Art of Lutherie. He focuses on the spiritual meanings of jewelry and draws inspiration from music, theater, painting, literature and mathematics. Neither exclusively modern nor wholly traditional, Coates’ work dazzles us with its technical virtuosity and inspires us with its symbolic imagery.

    STATEMENT

    I approach all my output with what I see as the spirit of the jewel, whether it is to be worn, to be held and used, or placed on a table. It is the mental approach of the Goldsmith, one catholic in technique, and omnivorous of material. The opportunity and ability to work through the deep treasury of precious gems, minerals, and metals is an enormous privilege, and, at times, a true confrontation with ‘prima materia’ – with the very elements of Creation. This extensive ‘palette of absolutes’ is something to which I am constantly drawn, to express the ideas that continue to haunt the different stratas of my mind: a search for the music within the silence, the movement within the stillness, and the eternal moment within the relentless dynamic of time. It is always a pursuit of the metaphor which will first ‘connect’, then enshrine, the meaning to provoke that essential journey of response in others – and like that of the alchemist, it is a quest for the transcendental, one where the Stone’s achievement lies in the ensoulment of the object itself.

    QUOTES:

    “… a man whose work fascinated me for its complexity, astonishing technical virtuosity, sophistication of allusion, and unashamed richness of a kind which would have delighted a Medici Grand Duke.” Sir Roy Strong

    To read more about Kevin Coates’ work by Sir Roy Strong, read the Introduction to Kevin Coates: A Hidden Alchemy. (PDF 89KB)

    “Coates is Britain’s leading artist-goldsmith, with a renaissance imagination and an ingenuity to match” The TIMES

    “At every level, Coates is a master of the imagination, and can balance the proverbial angels on the head of a pin” The International Herald Tribune

    “His work seems to belong to the world of the “Wunderkammer”. There is little doubt that Coates will be deemed one of the most remarkable jewellers-cum-goldsmiths to have emerged at the end of the 20th century” Financial Times

    “There is no-one in England to compare with his genius” CRAFTS

    “A perfectly executed mix of artistic skill and interpretation to be seen to be believed” The SUNDAY TIMES

    “Kevin Coates is Britain’s LEONARDO” HARPER’S & QUEEN

    SELECTED COLLECTIONS AND COMMISSIONS

    Ayrton Metals Platinum Collection, London – Brooch ‘Selene’
    The British Museum, London – Mozart Medal; Monahan medal
    The British Society for the History of Pharmacy, London – Presidential Badge
    Datsun House, Worthing – ‘Ikaros’ Sculpture
    De Beers Diamond Stakes – Trophy for Ascot
    The Dominican Republic, H.E. Ambassador – Loving Cup and numerous jewels
    The Goldsmiths’ Company, London – The Amity Cup; Tree of Knowledge centre-piece; various CourtCups; medals; and jewels including ‘Oologos’ brooch, ‘Lazarus’ ring, and most recently The Charter Bell
    H.R.H. Prince Faisal al Saud
    H.R.H. Prince of Wales
    Koch Collection, Geneva – Ring ‘Hare and Tortoise’
    Leeds Castle – ‘The Maze Centre-piece’ (Memorial to Peter Wilson)
    Lichfield Cathedral – The St. Chad Cup
    Museum of Fine Arts – Boston
    National Museums of Scotland ‘Entry of the Queen of the Night’ Tiara
    Nissan Corporation, Tokyo – ‘Torus’ Sculpture
    No. 10 Downing Street – St. George Centre-piece (The Silver Trust)
    Royal Ballet School – Choreographic Prize medal
    Royal Museum, Edinburgh – Brooch ‘Waiting for Joan’
    Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence – Brooch ‘Frog Labyrinth’
    Sydney & Frances Lewis Collection, Richmond, Virginia – various jewels
    Victoria & Albert Museum – The Carrington Cup; various jewels including Brooch ‘Athene Noctua’; Brooch ‘Seraph’; Ring ‘Caliban’ and relevant drawings

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