Gold frame square
Gold frame square
In 2016 Ambrin began creating a series of jewellery sculptures inspired by items one might find in their local corner shop. Each item has been redesigned and transformed into a luxurious, lavish and alluring jewel. Ambrin used a variety of wonderfully opulent materials such as pearls, silver and gold. She employed a number of indulgent handmaking techniques which include hand cutting, carving and setting. On first glance the collection is a celebration of luxury, wealth and greed. However as we think deeper about each piece we are challenged to consider whether these opulent transformations actually elevate the objects. How does the presence of pearls and gold affect an item's use value? Can practicality be comprimised in the pursuit of luxury?

In this exhibition we re-explore existing works as stimulous for thought in the context of 2020. Our world has been thrown into a state of dystopia. Panic buying has knocked the hierarchies of material value into chaos as we see loo roll become a sought after product. Going out to drink a pint could now mean the difference between life or death for somebody vunerable. Protective medical items, once abudant and disposable, run on low supply and in some countries are no longer available in sufficient quantities. 

In creating "luxury" versions of everyday objects Ambrin challenges us to reconsider what we value and how we allocate value. The 'Corner Shop' virtual exhibition asks us to redfine our notion of what "luxury" truly means.​

Corner Shop

 

Online Exhibition

Free Entry

Opening Times 24/7

Photography Screenshots Permitted

Beer Ring
2020
The mighty pint - once a symbol of fun and recreation this year became a trophy of shame. As revellers continued to pile into pubs society cried out for a nationwide lockdown, and the government listened. So with beer gardens and bars off-limits the pub experience has gone digitial. Live streams, house pary apps and video dates are what Friday nights now offer. How have you changed the way you make merry?
Share your thoughts below
Gold plated guilding metal and bottle top, golden ale, seed pearls, perspex
Beer Ring
2016
Originally made in response to the rising price of a pint, 'Beer Ring' 
explores how the beverage might be treated if it continues to become and increasingly expensive luxury. Real golden ale has been used to create the magnificent beer gemstone. The stone is set in a beer bottle top that has been hand carved. If you look inside the gemstone carefully you can see tiny seed pearls which float around and represent froth.
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Gold plated guilding metal and bottle top, golden ale, seed pearls, perspex
Gold frame square

Use your mouse to hover over each exhibition label! 

This will reveal new thoughts...

Silver Spoon
2020
The function of this object is to deliver  a measure of medication orally. In plastic the spoon is disposable, hygienic and accessible. In silver it is more exclusive and has an indefinite lifespan. Medical supplies such as PPE are currently in high demand and are invaluable in protecting healthcare staff. These are items that are of value because they are inexpensive and disposable. This is an example showing use value outweigh material prestige.
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Sterling silver
Silver Spoon
2016
The classic disposable medicine spoon as a sterling silver treasure.
Taking reference from the saying "to be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth" this work alludes to attitudes of austerity, privelege and capitalism.
'Silver Spoon' pits wealth against health. What once was plastic and disposable is now a luxurious and precious commodity. But can this
silver treasure still perform it's function?
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Sterling silver
Gold frame square
Gold frame square

Remember to hover! 

Pearl Necklace In A Jar
2020
Does recent panic buying expose a culture of greed? With lockdown looming supermarkets were thrown into pandomonium as shoppers flocked to stock up on pasta, loo roll and non-perishables. Images began circulating online of elderly and vunerable customers scouring empty shelves in a desperate effort to fill their own trolleys. Which left many people feeling ashamed of their melodramatic stockpiling. Were you in a rush to fill your cupboards? Which item from your weekly shop would you struggle to live without? Do you know who has all the penne?
Share your thoughts below
Gold plated guilding metal, glass jars, pearls, perspex, water
Pearl Necklace In A Jar
2016
'Pearl Necklace In A Jar' was created in response to the rise in the need for food banks in the UK. Most commonly donated goods include canned items and non-perishables. The necklace takes inspiration from a jar of pearl onions. Set inside each golden lid is a jewel made up of pearls floating in water. By reinterpreting food in this extravagent and luxurious way it's monetary worth rises. And yet in the same vain its practical value plummets because it is now no longer inedible. Use your mouse to hover over the image and see the jars open.
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Gold plated guilding metal, glass jars, pearls, perspex, water
Gold frame square
Coins
2020
Techonological advances have rendered coins and cash payments increasingly unpopular. The exchange of physical money is a practice forced to compete with debit and credit cards, apple pay and even at times cryptocurrency. 
Understandably many supermarkets and other retailers are not currently taking cash payments. In an effort to decrease the risk of contamination
card payments are now being enforced. With many establishments going cashless even before the pandemic, is "card only"  here to stay? Could this be the end of the coin?
Share your thoughts below
Dissected coins, gold
Coins
2016/2019
Made out of real coins these works repsond to the modern attitude we hold towards small change. Often we deem coins to be unnecessary, insignificant and even at times disposable. They are thrown into fountains, wagered inside slot machines and often found on the floor. The penny's Queen now wears a necklace. The nail rings are coins but as jewellery. The golden lions represent 'fat cats' spinning out of control. By transforming humble coins into treasure Ambrin elevates their conventional value. And in so doing she changes how they might be used, perceived and treated.
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Dissected coins, gold
Gold frame square
Contact Lenses
2020
The story of King Midas is a dystopian tale where touch spreads devastation and gold is the disease.
In an effort to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 we have been told to change the way we use our hands and to limit what we touch. Regularly washing our hands and refraining from touching our faces are among 
measures we must now take. Many of us will not engage in physical contact until after lockdown. The human touch, once a warm and wholesome feeling, is now a danger and a threat. How are you coping?
Share your thoughts below
Gold and silver plated guilding metal, dissected coins
Contact Lenses
2016
Inspired by King Midas and his golden touch Ambrin asks what if an inherently functional object, such as a contact lens, was touched and turned to gold? These deluxe lenses are golden, luxurious and fanciful but can no longer be worn. Their Midas style transformation has rendered them completely useless as visual aids. 
The lenses and case feature rose and thorn details, which have been cut from a coin. These decorative elements are a nod to money and excessive wealth. They symbolise avarice and the dysfunctionality of greed.
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Gold and silver plated guilding metal, dissected coins
Gold frame square
Gold frame square
Gold frame square
The Morning After Pearl
2020 
'The Morning After Pearl' provides lovers with emergency contraception should it be required. However because of Covid-19 we have had to 
change the way we physically interact. We have changed the way we use our hands and we must limit what we touch. We must limit who we touch.
We have to maintain a social distance and many of us may not engage in physical contact until lockdown eases. The human touch of a lover, once a warm and wholesome feelings, seems now more like a danger and a threat. Can we create intimacy without touch? Will the mystery and suspense present in digital romances heighten levels of physical intensity when seperated lovers are finally able to embrace?
Share your thoughts below
Yellow gold plated sterling silver, freshwater baroque pearl
The Morning After Pearl
2016
'The Morning After Pearl' features a single pearl 'tablet' and was originally created to raise awareness of inflated morning after pill prices. The medication is reimagined as an earring made with gold and pearls to satirically suggest that as women are forced to spend so much money buying the pill we might as well wear it and show it off as an expensive and luxurious jewel. The piece can also be used to highlight the disparities in healthcare and the branding of some medical needs as less important "womens issues" that are not considered worthy of investment or sufficient research or care. An example recently highlighted again in the press includes the dangers of vaginal mesh surgery.
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Yellow gold plated sterling silver, freshwater baroque pearl
Gold frame square
Bubblegum Comb
2020 
The 'Bubblegum Comb' features several pink pearls that have been arranged to mimic a disastrous mass of gum. But why did Ambrin decide to use baroque pearls to represent chewing gum?
Ambrin spent a lot of time studying discarded chewing gum forms - in particular chewing gum stains found on pavements. She noticed a similarity between these weird and wonderful stains and the shapes of baroque pearls. Chewing gum blobs on the floor are urban blemishes that signify bustling towns and cities full of people. The 
implementation of a lockdown has put fast paced metropolitan life on pause. What do you miss about your city?
Share your thoughts below
Rose gold plated sterling silver, freshwater baroque pearls
Bubblegum Comb
2019
Discarded chewing gum is conventionally seen as gross and unremarkable. However each time somebody squishes up a used piece of gum an entirely unique shape and form is created. In this way each piece of old gum can be interpreted as a unique and rare jewel. The comb is a gloriously decadent hair ornament that is inspired by getting bubblegum stuck in hair. Pink baroque pearls 
represent large clumps of gum that have become trapped, melted and stretched.
Pearls are synonymous with notions of luxury, regality and fine jewellery. Juxtaposing them with chewing gum is a fun and playful way to subvert traditional notions of value.
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Rose gold plated sterling silver, freshwater baroque pearls
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Sticky Situation
2020
The 'Sticky Situation' series is greatly inspired by The Crown Jewels. Pearls are a key element of royal dress and regalia. They feature on almost all royal crowns and on a number of tiaras. As Covid-19 spreads we are seeing high profile members of society and those with 'celebrity' status test positive. These include Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles. The virus does not 
discrimnate. Does it worry you when a public figure falls ill? Has hearing about a  'celebrity' case lead you to take more precautions?
Share your thoughts below
Baroque pearls, sterling silver, rose gold plated sterling silver
Sticky Situation
2019
'Sticky Situation' is a series of hair ornaments that are inspired by getting chewing gum stuck in hair. When each ornament is worn it may appear that the wearer has been caught in a sticky situation! From afar these wonderful jewels look like troublesome pieces of chewing gum. However on closer inspection it becomes clear that the hair is in fact adorned with beautiful baroque pearls. Every pearl within the series is hand selected by Ambrin to ensure each resembles a delightful piece of squished up gum!
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Baroque pearls, sterling silver, rose gold plated sterling silver
Gold frame square
Gold Bar
2020
Is it time to 'take a break'?
Lockdown has put the world on pause. For many, daily routines lull as the pace of life slows. Society as we know it has been sent into hibernation. Do you think that lockdown can be a time to reflect, change and grow?
Share your thoughts
below
Yellow gold plated guilding metal
Gold Bar
2016
The perfect treat - 100% chocolate free and full of carats!
Ambrin explores what a truly induldgent snack might look like. This painfully inedible Kit Kat gleams gold but offers a dystopian alternative to the notion of 'rich' chocolate.
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Yellow gold plated guilding metal
Tampax Pearl
2020
How do you define a luxury item?
Panic buying temporarily induced supermarket shortages. Access to everyday items became limited.
Have empty shelves caused you to place more value on products you once took for granted? What kind of items have been essential to you during lockdown? 
Yellow gold plated guilding metal, pearls
Hover to discover new thoughts
Tampax Pearl
2016
Made in response to the tampon tax Ambrin asks what might a 'luxury' tampon really look like? 'Tampax Pearl' is ornate, golden and complete with a string of pearls. It is wonderfully opulent but no longer wearable, absorbent, or disposable. 'Tampax Pearl' mocks the idea of a tampon tax and challenges the powers that be to reconsider how they classify 'luxury' items.
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Yellow gold plated guilding metal, pearls
Gold frame square
Lace Plaster
2020
We know that scientists are working incredibly hard to produce a vaccine for Covid-19. We know that the
process is being fast tracked and that human trials are imminent. In the meantime we must follow government guidelines in order to protect ourselves, our loved ones and those most vunerable. These include lockdown, self-isolation, social distancing and round-the-clock hand washing. In addition many are  taking their own extra precautions. Have you developed any new hygienic habits?
Share your thoughts below
Gold plated guilding metal, lace
Lace Plaster
2016
Thinking about items one might find in a first aid kit Ambrin created the 'lace plaster'. Wearing a plaster is a straightforward form of healthcare
and something most of will have experienced. An injection plaster, in particular, offers consolation and a sense of comfort after a vaccination. This piece celebrates the humble band-aid whilst simultaenously exploring whether an 'luxurious' plaster can still retain its use value. Will the
decorative lace be able to absorb and protect?
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Gold plated guilding metal, lace
Please visit the online exhibition on your computer!
"This is a heartbreaking time and I offer my gratitude, appreciation and compassion to healthcare workers and all those on the frontline. In addition I would like to extend these sentiments to those working in other essential industries and to everybody who is playing their part in the fight against Covid-19.
 
I wish everybody currently isolating warmth and comfort. I have put together this online exhibition for you in the hope that you can enjoy some leisure time engaging in an artistic experience. Of course physical museums and galleries are currently closed so I wanted to bring you something digital that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.
 
Self-isolation can of course induce feelings of loneliness. Exploring online collections can be a great form of escapism and a hugely stimulating way to spend your spare time. I encourage you to share this exhibition with any friends, family members or colleagues who you think might enjoy it. Please do stay connected and get in touch with you feedback - I would love to hear your thoughts on the work!" 
- Ambrin