The dual meaning of the word ‘petrified’ is intriguing: to be so scared that one cannot move, and for organic matter like wood turning to stone over time. This is worthy of reference as it exemplifies the importance that material can have in the wider scope of language and communication. The material used to make an artwork can dictate much of its meaning. In some versions of the story of Medusa, her stare ‘prettified’ men – literally turning them to stone.
Medusa was the starting point for this body of work which lead me into looking at other female protagonists for whom 'Metamorphosis' was a central theme. These include Orlando (Virginia Woolf's satirical biography of a woman who transforms over 300 years), Sekhmet (Ancient Egyptian Lion Goddess), Queen Nanny (Jamaican national hero) and Edith (a salt cellar based on Lot's wife).
The Bronze Combs (Medusa's):
Bronze is synonymous with classical Greek sculpture, which is of central focus to my practice and previous work. Surprising the viewer in something akin to a double-take, the viewer sees the combs and instantly recognises them as social signifiers (of a certain class, race, gender etc.) and I challenge these stereotype-judgements through the material swap of plastic (ubiquitous, cheap, man-made, mass-produced, light) to bronze (weighty, eternal, natural, historically-loaded).
School of Arts & Humanities
MA Jewellery & Metal, 2019
+44 (0)7830 373916
‘Looking at the jewellery of Joy Bonfield-Colombara, a.k.a. Joy B.C. you might be forgiven for thinking you have stumbled upon a case of ancient treasures highjacked by a postmodern theorist.’
Allsop, L. (2017) ‘Face - To - Face’, ON THE ROCKS, April 2017, p.23.
The artist’s professional name, Joy B-C, is a reflection of her lifelong interest in antiquity. Much of her work pays homage to the principles and images underpinning classical art. Many of the surviving artefacts from ancient Rome and Greece are no longer intact. Sculpted images, for example, are missing limbs or facial features. For Joy, these losses reflect their personal history, serving as a sort of 'memento mori'. They are also an intrinsic part of their beauty and continuing appeal. She has used her deep-seated knowledge as a springboard to deconstruct, manipulate and – ultimately – create her own body of work. In that work, Joy seeks to express a continuum in which the past is always present.
- BA Silversmithing & Jewellery, Glasgow School of Art, 2014
- Artist's residency, Make Words, 2013
- 'Change', Hiko Mizuno Exhibition, Tokyo, 2012; Degree Show at GSA, Glasgow, 2014; 'Precious Debris', 1 Royal Terrace Gallery, Glasgow, 2015; 'Precious Tears' (Joint Exhibition), Creative Debut Gallery, London, 2018; 'Bottom Drawer', South Kensington Mews, London, 2018; Feminist Charms, collaborative commission with Ruth Ewan, Glasgow Women’s Library, 2017
- Kyoto City University of Arts / Royal College of Art Exchange, 2018; The Richard Hubbard Memorial Prize for Drawing, 2014; Three Month Exchange Programme, Hiko Mizuno School of Jewellery in Tokyo, 2012; Precious Metal Bursary, Friends of Glasgow School of Art, 2012