I had the opportunity to trial some new work at Fingers Gallery in Auckland earlier in the year. It was an interesting context in which to work through the ideas, the sturdy glass cabinets set the scene and in a way make the space tricky to activate. I kept my installation to a minimum, working both inside and outside the cabinets as a means for creating a dialectic between the two phasing’s of work. I am extremely greatful for the opportunity to present these ideas and my thanks go out to the team at Fingers and the community of followers in Auckland for their support. I am posting some images of the work and the install, along with my statement here but think i will also create a page explicitly for this new work – i.e. with the complete series of My Shadow wears (hmm….. thinking aloud here and revealing my lack of familiarity with web design!! :(( )
As an artist jeweller I work at the intersection between material culture and conceptual practice – performance, interactive and object making. I practice with an expansive vision working with the medium of jewellery rather than within it. I am more inclined towards making localised interpersonal ‘jewellery’ experiences/ performances that engage with community and contemporary concerns, than making jewellery as an accessory. My process often involves walking, working outdoors, creating with the material I collect along the way, and where possible I invite participation from the public.
I am interested in researching the idea of jewellery as a ‘knowledge space’ (Turnbull 2000), a strategy for creating physical and metaphorical links between the phenomena of jewellery (i.e. function, form, history, materiality, practice etc), humanity (culture), location (place making), and the environment (i.e. natural, urban, rural, manmade).
In order to continue my research I felt it necessary to refine my understanding of the essential thingness of jewellery. I began to research its origins (historical/ ethnographic, anthropological) and discovered many interesting facts and fictions. While it’s difficult to say with certainty what sparked the initial expression of jewellery (c 70,000 yrs ago) I felt it was necessary to extend the discourse through an artist’s perspective.
The installation Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow creates a space for re-imagining the moment just prior to the first expression of jewellery and the moment in culture that occurred immediately thereafter. The installation is composed of two types work in three parts; documentation of the performance My Shadow Wears, and two object based series Walking for the Duration of a Necklace: (Traversing) and The Beginning of I Am.
The performance My Shadow Wears was created over a four-day visit to Barcelona and suggests a symbiotic relationship, between body, object and the environment (images taken on an iPhone).
The moment of culture that occurred with the initiation of jewellery is explored through two series of works, (the objects of which are formed from plastic that I collect and partially work in the environment). In Walking for the Duration of a Necklace: Traversing (pictured)
the beaded trace travels over and draws together a cluster of plastic objects (objects in this series are either orientated vertically – traversing, or horizontally – circumnavigation).
In the second series The Beginning of I Am a singular plastic object is anthropomorphized; threaded and suspended, its’ gaze set to a permanent state of wonderment.
These object-based works pose the first expression of culture as a dialectic between the moment of making, (the technological aspect of jewellery), versus the moment of wearing, (the social aspect of jewellery).