New Work

This project centred on my contribution to the 2006 exhibition New Work at Gallery Marzee - a distinguished showplace for current trends in international jewellery.

I exhibited 20 new pieces that reflected my developing exploration into private/ personal investment in or attachment to objects. My aims addressed interesting 'boundary' issues: the issue of 'security' (the strategies employed by individuals to safeguard personally valuable items); the extension, beyond jewellery itself, to new objects that might 'attend' or protect the jewellery; objects that act to stimulate questions regarding the nature of our attachment to objects such as jewellery.

Building on its radical and intuitively democratic foundations, but extending beyond the investigations of earlier work, I designed artefacts that questioned the role of the maker in determining objects of 'worth', implicitly challenging our understanding of the dynamics of specialist expertise within a field of applied art practice. Evincing a personal perspective somewhat between those of the classic designer/problem-solver and the classic applied artist/auteur, I drew on my experience of methods associated with the disciplines of design, sociology and craft that had informed the earlier project. I now represented my role as that of one who has come to understand the significance and ascribed value of any jewellery which is treasured by its owner rather than that of the artist-maker who sets out to express his or her own judgements and values through the works themselves. The significance of the project works lay in their break with generally established artist-jewellery production, demonstrating objects that, in a specific and explicit manner, spoke about jewellery rather than being jewellery in themselves. This project and its outcomes effectively underpinned my research development, leading to the successful development of an AHRC funded project, British Council funded workshops, representation in books and numerous exhibition invitations.