There is a precarious profusion of divergent materials in explosive clusters, sprouting like fungi from brightly coloured lumps of plasticine. That might sound ugly, yet it is both beautiful and original in the way it builds new ideas out of both championing and questioning the old.
Karl Fritsch is a German-born, New Zealand based artist renowned for his iconoclastic reinterpretations of jewellery tradition. His chosen form is overwhelmingly the ring, which stands as a kind of symbol of all that jewellery is and can be about; desire, ownership, commitment, ego, love.
Using an enormous array of materials, from the precious - gold, diamonds, sapphires - through semi-precious metals and synthetic stones, silver, right through to basic materials such as steel nails, stone, aluminium, Karl abandons any notion of heirarchy within his work, using any available substance with a frenetic, egalitarian drive.
His work challenges accepted notions of preciousness and beauty with wit and irreverence as he swings between delicate, wearable rings - a solitaire, a band - and madly impossible piles of glass stones, or a massive chunk of steel or marble. Regardless of the ring's wearability or manners though, each has an unmistakable quality; a bravura and freshness that identifies that the piece can only be a Karl Fritsch.
Celebrated artist Gerd Rothmann wrote of Karl; "His workmanship indicated an attitude, or better, a thrumming inner disquiet: there was certainly nothing disingenuous or ingratiating in his approach. Work and person are identical. The final result bursts the constraints of all convention: this is what makes this artwork so new." This ability to encapsulate an attitude, a 'thrumming disquiet', has made Karl Fritsch a cult figure across art, fashion and jewellery.