Galerie Arp Gallery

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Jacqueline Cullen

(United Kingdom)


Jacqueline Cullen is a jewellery artist specialising in contemporary Whitby jet jewellery. Whitby jet is a prehistoric black fossil most commonly associated with Victorian mourning jewellery, the trend for wearing jet jewellery was started by Queen Victoria in response to the death of her consort Prince Albert. Mined during its heyday, Whitby jet is now rare. Jacqueline’s supplier abseils down the cliffs on a rope collecting raw samples from disused caves and mines.

Jacqueline Cullen has developed innovative processes and formats that celebrate rather than disguise the inherent flaws and inclusions of Whitby jet allowing the natural beauty of the material to speak for itself, removed from connotations of death, grief and morbidity. Jacqueline is inspired by dramatic acts of nature, a placid sky ripped open by a slash of lightening, a volcano erupting, a cliff edge left jagged from erosion. Hiatuses inform her aesthetics and the interruption or breaking up of a bold, fluid form is central to her work where fractures, fissures and crevices release a luxurious cascade of textured gold or glittering diamonds.

Jacqueline has received an Arts Council grant and the Balvenie Master of Craft award (stone category). Her work has been featured in Vogue, Financial Times, The Times, The Independent, Harpar's Bazaar, Tatler, Wallpaper* and on BBC TV and radio. Her contemporary Whitby jet has been commissioned by the Harry Potter franchise and was worn by Deborah Meaden throughout the last series of Dragons Den 2010 (BBC2). She is a featured designer in 'Drawing Jewels for Fashion', the new book by Carol Woolton jewellery editor of Vogue. Jacqueline has been mentored by Georgia Fendley, the brand director of British luxury brand Mulberry as part of the Crafted programme run by Arts and Business.

Jacqueline Cullen is the only person working with Whitby jet in a non-traditional way and she remains committed to introducing this ancient and sensual material to a contemporary audience.



2000-2003 First class honours BA Honours Jewellery Design, Central Saint Martins


Sobranie: 2 X art object vessels made from Whitby jet 18CT and 24CT gold and diamonds (current)

Deborah Meadon: two pieces worn on TV series Dragon’s Den

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: accessories for Narcissa (released July 2009)

Alice and Louis Koch ring collection Switzerland

Donna Karan (private collection)

Central Saint Martins: contemporary museum collection


2011 Balvenie Masters of Craft: winner in the stone category

2011 Crafted: mentoring by Georgia Fendley, brand director for Mulberry

2008 Arts Council Grants for the Arts

2008 Equipment grant from City Fringe Partnership

2006 Highly commended for stand presentation at Origin, Somerset House

2004 Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) bursary for research into Whitby jet carving