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William Griffiths: Retrospective 1967-2012

William Griffiths: Retrospective 1967-2012

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  • Wed 1 Aug ’12, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
  • Thu 2 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Fri 3 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Sat 4 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Tue 7 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Wed 8 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Thu 9 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Fri 10 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Sat 11 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Tue 14 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Wed 15 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Thu 16 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Fri 17 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Sat 18 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Tue 21 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Wed 22 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Thu 23 Aug ’12, 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • View all sessions


Independent Saints Gallery, 56b Brown Street, Ponsonby


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Independent Saints presents William Griffiths - Retrospective 1967-2012.

"Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits prepares
In the field of observation, chance favours only the prepared mind" - Louis Pasteur

William Llewellyn Griffiths, jeweller and alchemist has spent thirty years largely manipulating metals and stone into some of the most extraordinary pieces of jewellery in the world. His work evidences the practice of observation, nourished by his prepared mind, and chance follows him closely.

This preparation began as a child. Born in England, raised in New Zealand, his mother a painter, his father an engineer and “crazy inventor,” he was surrounded by religious imagery, history books, pride in his Welsh heritage and his parents' creativity.

Pasteur's quote reminds us to remain observant and open to creative opportunities. To ready ourselves for greatness by taking steps we know.

In such a creative environment William was encouraged to take those steps… he has spoken of a ring that he made for his mother at 7 years old and his delighted intrigue at the inventions of his father.

It is said that if you know what it is that you want, and are ready, you will recognise and accept an opportunity when it comes along. William as an 18-year-old punk rocker, confident and bold, was drawn by an urge to see the Sex Pistols. In London he found a job working in the Hatton Garden jewellery district.

A chance request by a friend for William to make a skull ring heralded the beginning of an enduring relationship with this motif.

Merged with his perennial interests of medieval history, renaissance, couture, tattoo culture and the architecture from the Gothic and Baroque periods, William observes and absorbs the beauty of our world - the door handles of a Villa in Florence, saints bones in a gilded casket, the Gothic artistry of The Assembly Hall in Melbourne… such things are the “colour palette” for his masterpieces.

He allows us, as an artist, to observe his life experiences. At 30 years of age William survived a severe car crash, enduring time on life support and six months in hospital. William describes this time as being altered, to observe the darker themes in life in particular the dreams, which haunted him during his recovery as akin to being locked within an HR Giger painting.

This extreme situation did not diminish him however, he breathed it in, adding yet another dimension to his creative practice. Interestingly, HR Giger commissioned a ring from him.

William’s work for celebrity clients is extensive including Katy Perry, Marilyn Manson, Billy Idol and Angelina Jolie. While his creative collaborations include work with Vivienne Westwood, Dolce and Gabbana and Terry de Havilland.

This exhibition shows a collection of pieces from the origin of his practice to his current work. Including the ring he made for his mother as a boy.

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