Mike turner is an artist, metalsmith and sculptor who’s career has spanned over 19 years and 3 continents.
It started in the UK where, after completing a degree in jewellery design in 1993, he began by supplying London’s growing population of pierced and tattooed with his own style of jewellery, here his work was selected for inclusion in the Victoria and Albert museums Street Style exhibition (1994) and was included in the book Unclasped- British Contempory Jewellery(1996), it also appeared in a number of Magazine publications, including Time Out London and Dazed and Confused.
In 2000 he moved to Australia where during various stints in the film industry he learnt the skills to work on a larger scale and with an array of new and interesting materials, in 2002 he helped set up the Mekanarky artist run initiative in Sydney , where he lived and worked for the next 6 years exhibiting his work regularly in Australia and occasionally overseas.
In January 2008 he moved to Chengdu, China where he has set up a studio and now concentrates on making his larger sculptural works.
His work is held in private collections throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, Japan and China. 2009 has seen his work included in the books, The Compendium Finale of Contempory Jewellery and Short Story # 1.
When he’s not staring at his own or other’s peoples art, he likes to design or mutate motorbikes.
I generally produce one-offs pieces within series of works following a theme or concept, with a focus on creating unique objects which are hopefully intriguing and thought provoking.
The works themselves are fabricated from scratch, some pieces involving up to10 or more processes, occasionally they may include the addition of a pre-made object such as a metal tray or test tube.
A large portion of works have originated through the manipulation and experimentation with the metals and materials I use, many, such as the ‘specimens’ have evolved piece by piece to loosely resemble strange creatures, with the subjects of insects ,science fiction, surgical implements ,and human body parts having all had varying degrees of influence throughout .Some jewellery pieces might often include the addition of false teeth or prosthetic eyes, much as the way in which tribal peoples made jewellery from the teeth and bones of the animals they found or killed, these could be a 21st century version ,to be worn by future urban ‘tribes’ and fashioned from discarded remnants of the dead.
More recently a pre-occupation with the topic of genetic science, has become more prevalent in my work. I’m interested in its proliferation due to mankind’s increasing desire to become more ‘perfect’, to appear perpetually young and ultimately become immortal as well as its possible use in the production of ‘super’ beings or creatures . Looking at present day innovation in this field, and projecting these developments into the future, attempting to take its potential to less predictable or desirable extremes, these works offer visual answers to questions such as ‘what could happen if we were able to grow our own spare body parts at home?’ or ‘what could be the unforeseen results in creating human and technological hybrids?’ .In addition, some pieces investigate the peculiarities of insect behavior. The ruthless and cruel efficiency of some species and their relative strength makes it conceivable we may one day see them genetically manipulated and exploited for use in a new kind of biological warfare, inflicting on humans new kinds of deadly aggression normally reserved for other small creatures.
All these creations I envision as a small part of a much larger picture, co-existing in an anarchic dystopia, a civilization devoid of moral or ethical considerations, but where experimentation and creativity has no boundaries. Each new project is formulated to probe further into the bizarre prospects such a place could have in store.
This website catalogues a large variety of my best works from 1994 to date, and is designed to give the viewer a comprehensive oversight into my practice.
Some of the work has been already been sold, and some is currently inaccessible, but quite a bit of it is for sale, so don’t hesitate to contact me for more info and prices.
Currently I’m afraid I’m not making jewellery, however some is planned for later this year, I will put the info up as soon as it happens .
WHAT THE CRITICS HAVE SAID
No matter how long or how often you look at Mike Turner’s art, his pieces remain stunning, intriguing, and - at moments - viscerally unsettling works of a master jeweler gone mad scientist.' Andrew Joia , City Pulse magazine 2009.