Sunday, July 10, 2011

Brooch of the Month Club 2011

Currently I am pleased to relay that Kristin D'Agostino and her entourage have invited me to participate in the 3rd Annual collaborative BOM project. Having watched the scheme grow over the past 3 years I can see how it has evolved nicely, as I expected Kristen intended, bringing New Zealand Contemporary Jewellery makers together with it’s patrons and admirers, that in turn expose our unique creations to a broader audience.

In Peter Dormer’s and Ralph Turners 1994, Jewelry as Theatre: Radical Departures, they state that,

“We all know that jewelry, like anything else a person chooses to wear, tells us about that persons taste and personality. But jewelry is rarely used by jewelers to make comment about the conventions and taboos surrounding the making or wearing of it”.[1]

They go on to applaud Otto K├╝nzli for, unlike others, addressing this as his context. As New Zealand contemporary jewelers of the 21st century this idea still prevails, purely from the perspective that as a culture the unawareness that is present around contemporary jewellery can be rather exasperating; I find myself consistently resisting the urge to justify to the layman why my art sits on the body.

People generally ask “why wear it?” but I ask “why not wear it?” One of the reasons I create my own pieces is a response to rejecting the “norm” or the “beige-ness” of a society in which I see us consumed. Just because a material object is created for a particular purpose doesn’t mean to say that this is where it should stay, I’m all for appropriating.

Doing something different takes courage and it is with great pleasure that I witness the pieces bravely worn by the wearers, commandeered by BOM, paraded in the wider community. I hope that this project antagonizes perceptions of what is acceptable or overlooked in our everyday, in the same way that fine art is used as a tool to question our awareness. Different isn’t something that should be treated with contempt but something that should be embraced and Kristen’s project definitely encourages this while exposing a great opportunity to constructively critique both the wearing and making of our work and hearten the contemporary jewellery community aspect of the applied arts.

[1] Dormer, P and Turner, R. (1994). Jewelry and dissent: Recent directions. In The New Jewelry: Trends+Traditions (rev.ed) (p178-184). London, England: Thames and Hudson