Dr Roberta Bernabei
Dr Roberta Bernabei is a lecturer in 3D Design, Silversmithing and Jewellery. She completed a BA (Hons) in Sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti Pietro Vannucci in 1993, in Perugia, Italy. She worked for the Italian French artist Faust Cardinali at ARTSENAL in Paris (1993-94). She continued her study in Advertising Communication, Storytelling and Culture of Image (ComPSI) at Universita’ per Stranieri, Department of Lettere e Cultura Italiana (1995-98), Perugia. She then went on to obtain an MA Degree in Jewellery & Metalsmith in 2002 at Sheffield Hallam University (with Prof. Christoph Zellweger). Before joining Loughborough University as a lecturer in 2004, she also studied Schmuckgestaltung at Fachhochschule für Gestaltung (with Prof. Manfred Bischoff), Schwäbisch-Gmünd, D. and at The European Ceramic Work Centre (with Prof. Otto Künzli), Den Bosch, NL.
She holds a Ph.D. from Loughborough University with the thesis ‘Jewellery Theory and Practice: An investigation into emotionally invested and mnemonic jewellery through senstitising materials’. Since 2015 she is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Bernabei’s current research concerns emotionally embedded artefacts and their impact on our ‘self’ and as an aid to wellbeing. Other research interests include the application of Rapid Prototyping to reinvigorate traditional goldsmith techniques. Her latest curatorial project investigates possibilities of wideningfruition of jewellery exhibitions through sensory and digital experience. Bernabei’s research outputs include a monographic book, journal articles, chapters and exhibitions.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Senior Member of: AGC (Association of Contemporary Jewellery) Italy;
- ACJ (Association of Contemporary Jewellery);
- Society of Jewellery Historians, UK.
Academic article reviewer for:
- Journal of Material Thinking
- Journal for Artistic Research
- The Journal of Modern Craft
- AJF (American Jewellery Forum)
Module Leader for:
- SAB937 Experiential Design: Body Adornments and New Technologies
Roberta Bernabei contributes to the following theoretical and studio UG and PGT modules:
- SAA801 Visual Communication
- SAB933 Material Culture
- SAC940 Dissertation in Art and Design
- SAP105 Design and Research
Bernabei was the Programme Director of Silversmithing and Jewellery BA (hons) Programme until 2008 and Postgraduate Programmes Director of five MA programmes until 2014 at Loughborough University.
Bernabei’s current research concerns emotionally embedded artefacts and their impact on our ‘self’ and as an aid to wellbeing. Other research interests include the application of Rapid Prototyping to reinvigorate traditional goldsmith techniques. Her latest curatorial project investigates possibilities of wideningfruition of jewellery exhibitions through sensory and digital experience. She is currently curating an exhibition ‘Talking Jewellery’ with curator Maria Cristina Bergesio for the forthcoming international event Florence Jewellery Week in May 2020.
Bernabei’s research outputs include a monographic book, journal articles, chapters and exhibitions. Her first book: Contemporary Jewellers: Interviews with European Artists (Berg, 2011) provides insights into the practices of 25 of Europe’s leading contemporary jewellers by exploring the creative, conceptual and technical working practices that underpin the aesthetic of each practitioner's work. In addition, the dialogs shed new light on these jewellers’ sources inspiration and their ideas relating to functionality and the human body. Major jewellery artists presented include Giampaolo Babetto, Gijs Bakker, Otto Kuenzli, Ruudt Peters, Mario Pinton and Tone Vigeland.
Her latest chapter, Jewellery Can Be Worn Too, published by Routledge (2017) in the following book of edited essays, Tchotchkes in the White Cube: Exhibiting Craft and Design in the 20th Century investigates jewellery’s dual existence in that despite being made to wear, it can spend much of its life not being worn. The text explores how the relationship between contemporary jewellery and the human body it adorns has developed in the exhibition setting from the 1980s onwards, and the extent to which jewellery artists have challenged and transformed traditional modes of display to expand the language of jewellery.
Current PhD supervisions:
- Johnny Xu: Colour Identity in Urban Environments, co-supervised with Rob Harland.
- Yueyang Sun
- Zelal Basodan
Roberta welcomes applications for doctoral studies in contemporary jewellery, design and crafts within a practice-led research framework.