Through our lecture and workshop this past week our thought process has been gearded towards the BODY. As we are reminded of the bodies role in contemporary jewellery through construction of identity, gender and the interactions and boundaries of our own bodies – My mind wanders to how my view of my own body has shifted over recent years and how this will inform and shape my work back at the bench.
I begin looking through my old sketchbooks from my undergraduate degree, a typical page photographed below. I graduated 12 years ago, at the time I was fixated on the role of the body, the projected feminine ideals and the distortion or manipulation of this silhouette.
During my undergraduate degree, I took a sabbatical year and as part of this I worked for Andrew Logan, a sculptor, jeweller and performance artist. At the time, this was in the run up to one of his ‘Alternative Miss World’ shows, there aren’t enough words to sum up exactly what this show is, so please view the short video below, if you are interested to find out more! In this extract from ‘The British Guide to Showing Off ‘, courtesy of Verve Pictures, Logan discusses transformation:
‘It’s about transformation, people say drag – which it is. Drag is man to woman or woman to man. I think it is rather a lack of imagination – Just man to woman. There are so many other things you could be.’
Logan worked seamlessly between jewellery, sculpture and performance. He opened my eyes in many ways, but mostly in the power of interdisciplinary art, in pushing boundaries he is able to continually question, what is normal.
I’ve changed so much in the past 12 years and as I thumb through my sketch book today, I no longer see gregarious outfits or theatrical body extensions and modifications, but one centered on sentimentality. I can’t quite reconcile the transition or when it happened, I guess as I had no artistic outlet to document the change. But as I am struggling to identify my work in the realm of sentimentality, I question if I need to draw on my background or like Logan first consider the audience and their experience of my jewellery.