This artwork and its accompanying booklet were produced in response to time spent on the CWND residency in Canary Wharf, London.
As a place this place has been looked after. The floor is clean; there is no rubbish, only fag ends left behind. Plants are cared for here, carefully groomed, attended to. This is not a maternal care; it’s more clinical than that, colder. People pass through this place, everyday footfall repeating. For the people that there is, there is a lack of person.
Part of this work is a look at the care given. However alien this care could make the environment, however cold or clinical, it is still grounded in this sense of attention. The other part is to look at the absence I have found here, the lack of character, or sense of person I have experienced.
Broken cracks in pavements become the only un-removable sign of our impact on this space. The only trace that cannot be made clean. In this work I fill in those gaps, carving stones to fit these broken spaces and engraving them with the coordinates of the space they fill. This is an act both of caretaking and of highlighting the missing.
Presented alongside these carvings is a document, placing excerpts from Marc Augé’s text Non-Places with my study of this place, with the hope of finding an answer to this sense of absence I have found.
Hand carved soapstone, accompanying document.
To view accompanying document download PDF.
Perceptions of value are intrinsic within the jewellery industry. From fine jewellery, where a materials’ actual monetary value plays a huge part in the price tag; to costume jewellery, where the jewels adopt a veil, plated, plastic, assuming a façade that tricks their viewer into an understanding of worth.
Gold plays a key role in this understanding. Gold in a changeable, volatile world, has remained a constant. A definer of wealth. A signifier of value. Gold plating then is the trickster, fooling the viewer, enabling the wearer. Gold plating forms a perception of value that to many is surface deep.
My granddad used to make ceiling cornices. Intricate plaster works, gilded in this same layer of gold. Coated in this same layer of value. With each brooch I have layered his gold leaf, layered a material that has now become an heirloom. There is sentiment in this surface, a value that is separated from monetary worth. The brooch becomes a portrait of value, his value, and our perceptions of this worth.
Brooch, gold leaf and resin.
Text printed on original leafing sheets.