“These earrings originate in an intervention in two old English prints. The images show quite conventionally gendered scenes, where men and horses are displayed in an outdoor competition activity. The intervention in the images is a comment on some behavior and cultural codes. This intervention is made with materials and references to jewellery and embrodery work, in an intentionally femenine manner. The relation to the body is unfold in different stages. There are bodies represented in the prints, there is the body who was crafting the print, there is the body looking at the image, there is the wearer’s body. The wearer is provided with a choice: to wear the gold ring with or without the print attached to. This second option creates a quite uncomfortable or strange experience, of course. When the gold ring earrings are weared without the image, they are almost imperceptibles, only carring the weigth of the remembrance of the related image. The mental trace of a jewellery scene. What matters?” Gemma Draper November 2014
At the Centre Square, one of the bus stop glass walls glitters with the mood of the season. Here. Look at me. You are thirsty for real gold, aren’t you? The real gold thing is little more that the name, though. Straight Up. How do you turn the cinnamon flavoured drink in the temptation of pure glamour, the ultimate gesture of covering, lining your own human inside with real gold? How do you turn the pit, the miners, the toxic chemicals, the metal, the prices in the stock market, the dirt, in a buoyant dance of hypnotic golden specks? Drink me, whispers Jewellery.
Frozen negotiations, instructions out of reach. Commands to organize leisure.
A Journey To Kashmir. In collaboration with Michael Hall, coordinator of the Art and Design postgraduate studies, and Paul Grace, PhD candidate at the School of Arts and Media, we proposed a short project to Future Design master students with the aim to get them out of their studio/computer routine. We named it A Journey To Kashmir and asked students to explore a route on a journey to a place (Kashmir Foods in Middlesbrough) that is a locus of things that have arrived there from distant places. We asked them to return with their impressions from a three parts exercise journey: Leaving “Home”, Returning and Communicating, and to later develop these into a proposal, for a visual work that communicates their experience of the journey. In the video Sara, one of the master students, explains us the uses and rituals around of one of the sweet products we find in Kashmir Foods.
At the International Exchanges: Modern Art and St. Yves 1915-1965 exhibition opening at mima. Out of the blue I asked Katerina Gavrilo to pronounce the names of some of the Russian artists in the exhibition. She smiled thouroughly, saying the names of the artists as they pop up in her mind. Names as Objects, in Art environments.
Is this Pub the place where the Bank was before? Its doors remain there to prove it? Not. Not exactly. Every working morning I walk along these doors in 42 Albert Road, in my way from the train station to our office at Teesside University. I’m not sure about the special alloy of bronze they are made off, but their patina, colour, and tactility have a magnetic effect on me. I find myself secretly greeting them, come rain or come shine, every time I pass by. It took me a while to figure it out what were these great Greek signs and imaginery doing in the entrance of Bar cuda Pub (previously Barracuda Pub, before a letter fell down). It happens that they were not always there, these doors. In a given moment they were the entrance to the Cleveland Club, in a different building. Someone, then, took the doors from one building to another. Why? How? I like to imagine the physical journey of these magnificent bronze objects through the streets of Middlesbrough. Now, …
The book, and my lunch box “The difficulty with such an apparently simple phrase as ‘objects define us’ is in defining what is, simply, an object.” First sentence of Detours of Objects from Antony Hudek. The Object. Documents of Contemporary Art, 2014. It is very tempting to keep adding…What is, simply, an us?…What is, simply, to define?. But much much much useful to keep reading, I guess.
As a part of a series of interviews and conversations to gather testimonials and direct material to enhance our research project “Documenting the creation of the mima International Jewellery Collection 1975-1995”, we met Muriel Wilson, managing editor of Jewellery History Today magazine and one of the founding members of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery (ACJ). Some hours before the opening of the new permanent gallery space for the International Contemporary Jewellery Collection at mima, we had the joy to share her insights, her enthralling narrative and her capacity for bringing to the present relevant past moments in the most graceful way. She has built a private collection since 1991, when for her employers, the British Council, she prepared an exhibition of contemporary jewellery for world-wide touring. That is what she told us when we asked about her first encounter with jewellery: (Sorry, the ambience sound is quite intense, first learning outcome for future recordings!)
Four day workshop given to Master’s students from the HDK University, Göteborg, Sweden. For a a few days we will unfold the question about how much we care about being faithful to our own work and the idea we have of it. How this loyalty is shaping our activity, our production and the beliefs we have on what pertains us and what is out of our reach. “We artists of to-day (…) we have to spend the best part of our lives in trying to get hold of some “style” which shall be natural to us, and too often fail in doing so; or perhaps oftener still, having acquired our “style” that is, our method of expression, become so enamoured of the means, that we forget the end, and find that we have nothing to express except our self-satisfaction in the possession of our very imperfect instrument; so that you will find clever and gifted men at the present day who are prepared to sustain as a theory, that art has no function but …
A Cock, scratching the ground for something to eat, turned up a Jewel that had by chance beendropped there. “Ho!” said he, “a fine thing you are, no doubt, and, had your owner found you, great would his joy have been. But for me, give me a single grain of corn before all the jewels in the world.” Precious things are without value to those who cannot prize them. The Cock and the Jewel. Aesop’s Fables, translated by V.S. Vernon Jones (1912) Put your valuables on display! Talk at the Festival of Thrift, September 2014. Lingfield Point, Darlington The approach to the stated value of objects that surround us is developed through a fine and complex learning process. It is, in fact, one of our most exquisite cultural exercises, a refined training on what we share as a community and how we display and activate our group identity. There are endless events where this bestows of significance take place for us as a society, some quite elaborate and some quite simple.
KEEP! A project room tries to question my own practice by placing research materials in an open public space. My practice through jewellery deals with my interest in materials, craftsmanship, social meanings, and the value that we culturally attach to some objects. By creating an open working space I attempt to share with Teesside University students and staff a stage of the art/design process that is often kept more or less hidden in the studios. In October 2013, Janet Hinchliffe McCutcheon and I were appointed as Jewellers in Residence in the School of Arts and Media, with the support of the Renaissance Strategic Support Fund, granted by the Arts Council, to open a new permanent space at mima for its Contemporary Jewellery Collection and to enhance understanding of contemporary jewellery. We have an active practice in the field and although we approach jewellery as an art expression from different perspectives, our common goal is to develop, communicate and promote jewellery as a powerful, meaningful and distinctive art activity. In June 2014 we were awarded a …