Artist's Statement and CV

Poppy Porter is an abstract artist specialising in jewellery and airbrush painting based in Guildford, UK. She is synaesthetic meaning she has a visual response to sound, particularly music. This normal, but unusual neurological phenomenon makes a colourful inner landscape of shape, colour and movement on hearing certain sounds or listening to music. Poppy then uses this response to make bold abstract works that reflect the flow, energy and emotion of the music that inspires her.

Her artistic practice explores her visual and emotional response when listening to music. Sound is often very abstract and music the ultimate abstract art form. Music has a direct line to our feelings and the dialogue between music and emotion fascinates Poppy. Her abstracts also draw on that direct emotional response we have to music and sound. The synaesthetic part of her brain follows the music as it makes a flow of moving shapes and colours. Her artistic brain then has to translate what she has “seen” in to a sketch. The fleeting shapes and colours are hard to catch although often very memorable. It is a little like trying to draw a galloping horse! She then makes abstract and colourful jewellery from these primary sketches and will listen to the music that shapes the piece while she works.

She has two ways of working, a composed method and a improvised method. Both have equal status in her studio practice. The first will often involve setting a stone and airbrushing parts that are assembled in a formal arrangement. Although very abstract it has its roots in the grand tradition of fine jewellery. She has extensively studied custom painting and airbrushing techniques more usually associated with painting cars, bikes and musical instruments.

The other method is used in her Guitar Distortion Series and is freeform, insular and follows her own thought process. It retains the marks and deformities she encourages during making. Using precious metals she works from a molten ingot, via a rolling mill, piercing saw, hammers and raising stakes to make three dimensional the twisted sound of a distorted electric guitar.

Poppy works with both recorded and live music and part of her practice is working with solo-bassist Steve Lawson on a live art project. He plays, she draws what he plays then what she draws influences what he plays which sets up a creative feedback loop between them. This performative aspect to her practice blurs the boundary between who is composing the music and who is doing the drawing.

Previous clients have included: The Mayor of Guildford, The British Museum, The Royal Parks Foundation, Honda F1 Racing and her pieces are sought after by collectors and private clients.


2007- cont. Self-employed Abstract Artist Jeweller.
2015 Sessional Teaching, UCA Farnham.
2007-2009 Production Manager, Yarwood White Bridal Jewellery.

Selected Commissions

2016 Mayor of Guildford. Public art commission to paint the Civic Cow for Surrey Cow Parade
2014 British Museum, London. Jewellery Collection for “Shunga Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art”
2008 Head of Engine Design at Honda F1 Racing - Triptych of Digital Soundscapes
2008 Royal Parks Foundation – Illustrations for “The Secret Garden Auction Catalogue”
2007 – cont. commissions of large pieces of jewellery for private collections most notably five pieces in Tuan Lee's collection.

Editorial & Writing

2013 – cont. Editor, Association for Contemporary Jewellery’s Findings Magazine
2016 – Triple Parade – Collecting Conversations an interview with Tuan Lee.
2016 – cont. Art Jewellery Forum – UK Art Jewellery Ambassador and report on Collect 2017
2016 Adore Magazine. Co-Reporting and photography with Melissa Pearce - “Magnificent Obsessions” Jan 2016
2008 Craft and Design Magazine. Diary of a Craftsman column

Selected Exhibitions

2017 KultS – Die Schmuckausstellung, Berlin; Gioielli Masterworks, Italy, SIERAAD International Jewellery Art Fair Amsterdam.
2016 SOFA – Chicago; Gioielli in Fermento – Gallery Reinstein Ross, New York; GNCCF Manchester, Surrey Artists Open Studios; Choice! - New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham; SIERRAD International Jewellery Art Fair – Amsterdam; Contemporary Jewellery Exchange – international online/book; Gioielli in Fermento “Freedom and Constraint “ – Torre Fornello, Italy.
(2015 Sabbatical year, change of direction, development of new work)
2014 ICONS – The National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford; Message: Beyond Adornment, New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham.
2013 Stain-less, Sheffield Institute of Art; Reflect, David Hockey Gallery, UCA Farnham.
2012 ACJ Diamond Jubilee Touring Exhibition, London, Wales, Birmingham, Scotland.
(2010 - 2012 Maternity leave)
2010 ACJ Crossings Conference Exhibition, West Dean, Chichester; Showcase – Platform Gallery, Hatton Garden, London; Suzuka Chrysanthemum Showcase - Sarah Preisler Gallery, Birmingham, Designer Crafts at the Mall – Soc. Designer Craftsmen, The Mall Galleries London.
2008 Jewellery at the Edge – part of the Edinburgh Festival at Pebbles Gallery.
2007 New Designers, Business Design Centre, Islington, London; University for the Creative Arts, Farnham - Graduate Show.

Training and Professional Development

2013 & 2016 Custom Painting and Airbrushing – Simon Murray, Belfast.
2010 Organised Material Connections Symposium, ACE funded Exchange & Exhibition, Farnham
2008 SPEED Scholarship – Thames Valley University.
2007 Level 4 BTEC Entrepreneurship and Creative Business Start Up – Scholarship UCA Rochester
2004 - 2007 University for the Creative Arts – Farnham, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design, Metals and Jewellery.
Previous Career 1999-2004 – Solicitor, construction contracts and litigation. CPE & LPC - College of Law, Guildford.
1993-1997 University of Hull - BA (Hons) American Studies.