Meanings Messages logoWe are pleased to invite ACJ members to submit their entry for the ACJ Members’ touring exhibition Meanings & Messages.

Deadline: 7th February 2022

As the ACJ prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2022, we are organising a major touring show of excellence, alongside holding a conference in July. The exhibition is titled Meanings & Messages.

We are especially keen for members to create new and innovative work that will help us showcase the exceptional talent we have within our ACJ community.

Theme: Meanings & Messages
One brooch per maker, wearable body adornment. Finished brooches should have been made since January 2021. There will be up to 50 ACJ makers selected for this exhibition.

To show the innovative use of processes, techniques, and materials. The work selected will:

  • be of innovative and visionary design
  • have a very high quality of making
  • be interesting rather than solely commercial
  • must have been made since January 2021
  • may involve new technology (not compulsory)
  • must be wearable body adornment

The intention is to show a range of styles, materials, and techniques. Gold & silver are welcome but not compulsory, other materials are equally welcome.


Approaching the theme:
As with previous ACJ exhibitions we anticipate that members will respond to the theme in diverse, personal, and often surprising ways!

The theme of Meanings and Messages offers a multitude of starting points that may include one or several of the following topics – this list is not exclusive, and you may bring your own personal response to the brief:

  • Global challenges such as climate change, social justice, governance, resources, pollution, pandemics, population growth and conflict.
  • Meanings and messages within jewellery has been a constant theme throughout history – with many examples across different cultures and time periods, such as Victorian mourning jewellery, wedding rings and milestone jewellery, crowns, and ceremonial jewellery.
  • Fictitious jewellery and jewellery within folklore can often hold magical meanings and messages.
  • Material exploration – there are many meanings we associate with different materials, and these can vary across different time periods, societies and cultures.
  • Messages can be “sent” in different ways, and we have seen many changes in this area due to developments in digital technology.
  • Important and visionary speeches from history and the present day.
  • How we communicate within our own communities.

We have chosen to focus on brooches for this exhibition, as they form the ideal jewellery archetype for conveying meanings and messages. Brooches can be subversive and are often used by people in the public eye, by political figures or sovereignty to convey important messages. These messages may be hidden, subtle or occasionally more of an overt protest!


There is no fee for application.
Selected participants will pay £70 which includes:

  • work shown at prestigious venues in the UK
  • one page entry with one photo in the catalogue
  • insurance, transport, a small contribution to overall costs
  • excellent exposure for your work in a very high-quality international touring exhibition

Delivery for photography inside the UK is at your cost. Final return postage is included in the participation fee, subject to weight.


Addressing barriers:
We heartily welcome applications from jewellers currently underrepresented in our sector. This includes but is not limited to people of African or Caribbean heritage, Arabic heritage, Latin American heritage, East Asian, South Asian, and Southeast Asian heritage, people from traveller communities, disabled people and LGBTQIA+ people. For further details on our equality and diversity policy please see our website -


Selection will be by a panel of respected people in the field, including representation from at least one of the participating venues and at least two of the panellists will be individuals currently underrepresented in the jewellery sector. Panellists will not be able to see who has made the work, selection is based solely on the work submitted.


Deadline for applications 7th February 2022 (midnight)

A pdf copy of the application form is available here but if you would like to request the application in a word doc format, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.