His Satanic Majesty

Regular followers of this blog will be aware of my republican views and that I find the concept of a monarchy not only outdated but offensive to any sense of democracy or egalitarianism. Cake-maker extraordinaire, Claire Price (standing, left) decided to try and sway my opinions with a delicious Union Flag cake and a celebration of the queen's 90th birthday! Well, the cake was delicious and I remain committed to my anti-monarchist ways.

The Union Flag is looking a little tarnished these days as it is misappropriated by all manner of nationalist bigots as a tool in the divisive, unnecessary and foolish campaign to take the UK out of the EU. The vicious anti-immigrant language of the likes of Farage and Johnson has led to the death of one of the very few MPs with any integrity, the young, campaigning activist, Jo Cox who was shot and stabbed to death last week by a lunatic who had been whipped up by the general language of fear and hatred being promoted by the "Leave" campaign and their mouthpieces such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express.

The estimable Richard Dawkins hits the nail on the head with his analysis of the situation as regards the pointlessness of the referendum and the idiocy of asking an ill-educated and propaganda-fed population to decide on a matter of the utmost importance. This referendum has come about as a direct result of Cameron's moral cowardice; as he was too scared to say to his government, "I believe that we should stay in Europe and these are the economic and political reasons why..." we are being dragged towards an abyss of irrelevance, bankruptcy and fascism by a team of extremely manipulative liars and spin doctors who have turned this from an argument about economics into one of xenophobia and hate. The sorry conclusion of this is that someone of worth, of talent, belief and principals has died.

This is not a referendum about membership of the EU. It is a referendum about the future of the ultra-right in the UK and I read a comment somewhere yesterday which said, "I feel like a lefty who is being forced to support Cameron in a Tory leadership election". It is terrifying that Cameron is the moderate in this shambles.

Tuesday night at the School of Jewellery was the "Industry Night" where the local jewellery industry are invited in to view the show and it was jumping.

School of Jewellery Graduate Show 2016 - Industry Night - 3

The work, as ever, was fantastic and I'm really proud of the work by my HND students:

Graduate Show 2016 - 1 - Megan Chiles
Megan Chiles

Graduate Show 2016 - 4 - Emily Frearson
Emily Frearson

Graduate Show 2016 - 5 - Yi (Herbert) Feng
Yi (Herbert) Feng

Graduate Show 2016 - 6 - Kate Hadden
Kate Hadden

Graduate Show 2016 - 8 - Stephanie Holt
Stephanie Holt

Graduate Show 2016 - 13 - Vanessa Miller
Vanessa Miller

Graduate Show 2016 - 16 - Mahroz Mirzahekmati

Mahroz Mirzahekmati

Here they all are, with me, Jo Pond and Kate Thorley!

School of Jewellery Graduate Show 2016 - Industry Night - 6

The BA Design for Industry very nicely bridges the craft-focus of the HND and the design-focus of the BA Jewellery and Related Products, with a strong focus on digital and new technologies:

Graduate Show 2016 - 20 - Rebecca Wilkes

Rebecca Wilkes

Graduate Show 2016 - 23 - Katy Tromans
Katy Tromans

Graduate Show 2016 - 25 - Wan Sing Liew
Wang Sing Liew

Graduate Show 2016 - 27 - Stephanie Wills
Stephanie Wills

Cocktails - Aaron Cumbers
Aaron Cumbers

BA Horology - the only degree course in Horology anywhere in the world - were also part of the show:

Graduate Show 2016 - 30 - Lance Bennett
Lance Bennett

Graduate Show 2016 - 28 - BA Horology

The BA Jewellery and Related Products show was very strong too:

Graduate Show 2016 - 35 - Shen Zhang
Shen Zhang

Graduate Show 2016 - 41 - Amber Cooper-Green
Amber Cooper-Green

Graduate Show 2016 - 45 - Jie Guan
Jie Guan

Graduate Show 2016 - 43 - Anne-Marie Don Zinga
Anne-Marie Don Zinga

Graduate Show 2016 - 50 - Yee Ting Chuen
Ye Ting Chuen

Graduate Show 2016 - 56 - Zeyun Chen
Zeyun Chen

You can link to more of their work, work by other students at the Jewellery Futures Website.

Wednesday night saw me in church for Choral Evensong. Yes, indeed. In Roger Hirons' "Untitled (A Retrospective View of the Pathway)" in which the choir are reconfigured to perform the service lying down on their backs. We were requested not to take any photographs, so here is one from the Birmingham Cathedral website:

I have to confess that I didn't understand any of this but the whole thing was rather lovely and the blue of the robes of the choir reminded me very much of Hirons' other works in copper sulphate crystals.

The cathedral is quite lovely, with some phenomenal Edward Burne-Jones windows:

Birmingham Cathedral - 5

Birmingham Cathedral - 3

Most exciting for me was seeing the altar cross by one of my jewellery heroes, John Donald:

Birmingham Cathedral - 7

In Brighton for this weekend, preparing for a busy week of concerts and the British Art Medal Society conference in Oxford.

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Comment by The Justified Sinner on June 20, 2016 at 1:57am

Brigitte, the quality of the work coming out of the School of Jewellery is amazing. I am in no doubt that almost all of my own students and the Design For Industry students are going to end up employed as jewellers/jewellery designers and many of the Jewellery and Related Products people will become well-known makers. The Horologists and Gemmologists (not shown) are snapped up the second they graduate and have something approaching a 100% employability, which is unbelievable.

As to the politics, I am not sure how Cameron, Johnston, Farage or any of the others who are behind this dreadful, divisive, bitter mess can sleep at night knowing that they are at least partially responsible for the death of a human being. I can't believe that I fled the horrors of Scottish nationalism to find myself bang in the middle of a nationalist uprising again.

Comment by Brigitte Martin on June 19, 2016 at 9:05am

That's phenomenal work you are showing us, Dauvit. I am very impressed!

(About the politics: It's very interesting to read your insider's view. Thank you for that. Honestly, it's not like we are doing a much better job here in the US. It's all quite pathetic.)

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