A Lecturer at the Royal College of Art from 1972 until 1994, Mina has made a significant contribution to art education and has provided a great source of inspiration to her students; many of whom have become distinguished jewellers. Winner of the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize for Jewellery in 2000 for ‘consistent innovation and a significant contribution to contemporary jewellery… for subverting and taking precious metal techniques to the extreme’, Mina also received an OBE for services to Art in 2012. In 2011, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths honoured her career with the retrospective exhibition, Dialogues in Gold, which brought together a selection of her work spanning almost her entire career to date. It included pieces that are still regarded as seminal today; ground-breaking pieces for contemporary practice in precious metal. This was followed by Touching Gold, an exhibition which toured the UK.
Jacqueline Mina’s technical brilliance, allied with her strong artistic curiosity has resulted in a range of sensuous, understated work, which has a rare aesthetic presence in the field of contemporary gold jewellery. Her superb technical accomplishment in manipulating precious metals is combined with a fine, painterly eye. Sources of inspiration include the Venetian Palazzo Fortuny with its textile drapes; featuring devoré velvet with their etched patterns.
‘I aim to achieve an aesthetic result that obscures the technical rigours of its production. I am preoccupied mainly with the surfaces of precious metals (which I always affect in some way before construction begins) and with form - juxtaposing the play of light, reflection, lustre with characteristic angle, curve and line - inspired by an abstraction of nature and art, and particularly of the human form. I am intrigued, too, by the potential for dialogue between inner and outer planes, with random patterns imprisoned within strictly delineated edges, the inclusion of chance, and the visual tension created by the contrast and harmony of all these factors.’
Public Collections Include: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Cooper–Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York; The Crafts Council, London; The Goldsmiths’ Company, London; Leeds Museums and Galleries.
Jacqueline Mina sets herself technical challenges in the hope of discovering some new approach, solution or idea. Because goldsmithing is a slow craft, and she works on only one piece at a time using hand tools, Mina becomes engrossed in the process of producing what she hopes will turn out to be something special. Starting with more of a feeling than a concrete idea, she finds her way to a piece not by drawing but by initially experimenting directly in the metal, seeking a response in the way that the light falls on the surface or is reflected from the forms she begins to create.