Beth Legg has been making jewellery professionally since 2003 after graduating with a first class honours from Edinburgh College of Art. The remote environment she comes from in the far north coast of Scotland has strongly influenced both the work she produces and the materials she uses. She has always been fascinated by the hinterlands and quiet edges of places – a bleak remoteness which can be both beautiful and melancholic. Her studio has been compared to an artistic laboratory, where she surrounds herself with collected objects that inspire experimentation and have a powerful relationship with the environment she has taken them from. Rather than contriving designs beforehand, her practice is process-driven and material-led:
“I enjoy the labour of traditional hand tool methods – forming a dialogue with materials through the exploration of their innate qualities and discovering their inherent possibilities. I find this process of designing through making very satisfying. My work can be seen as a moving dialogue – each piece an exploration of composing elements encompassing themes of landscape and memory, ultimately reflecting the often bleak and fragile nature of the environment I come from.”
Beth’s award winning jewellery pieces are transformed when worn and the wearer forms their own associations through the piece. Away from the wearer her work takes on the role of a memento object through a contemplative and sensitive interpretation of the sense of place.
On completing an MA in jewellery in 2005 Beth was invited to Japan where she exhibited her work in Tokyo and Kyoto. Beth has since gone on to exhibit in Germany, Holland, Finland, Canada, Estonia, Poland and Korea. In 2008 Beth authored ‘Jewellery from Natural Materials’, which was published by A & C Black and has since been translated into both French and German. In 2009 Beth was awarded a three year research scholarship by Edinburgh College of Art – as part of this doctorate she curated the contemporary jewellery exhibition ‘A Sense of Place – New Jewellery from Northern Lands’ at the National Museum of Scotland in 2012.
Beths career has included periods where drawing, painting, photography, research, writing, and curating have dominated but her jewellery making has always remained constant. She works from her studio on the Fife coast in Burntisland.