Eight months of preparation involving many international Zoom training sessions, getting up before dawn to shoot videos on Charmouth beach in 3º temp wearing a flimsy linen dress and avoiding the early dog walkers, the stress of posting jewellery to Germany and filling out customs forms was all worth it.
Three statement necklaces are now on show at Bayerischer Kunstgewerbeverein gallery in the centre of Munich from 25 Feb to 2 April along with my video Amphitrite.
Statement for Amphitrite
A spark, a flash of light, the dawn of time and creation begins. Drawing on the first chapter of Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ for inspiration, I have attempted to bring Amphitrite, Queen of the Sea and wife of the Greek god Poseidon to the fore with a retelling of how sea creatures came to be.
Walking the shoreline I collected flotsam and sea twine discarded by the fishing industry, incorporating these finds in art jewellery and ceramic sculpture to highlight the perilous state of our oceans due to our greed and over-consumption; a siren call to take care of Amphitrite’s creations.
The Process of Amphitrite
I've really enjoyed working on this project with FAVElab, Athens and the other international jewellery makers. We've had some very long Zoom sessions over the months discussing ideas around metamorphoses, fleshing out themes and exploring different interpretations, performance and video.
Renewal, rebirth, recycle, transformation.
We all found very different meanings for Metamorphoses which I found fascinating. For many of us, our work incorporates recycled materials and for me this involves beach finds, so it was natural to continue this element in my practice. When I did some research and discovered that the Roman poet Ovid had written about Amphitrite in his first chapter of 'Metamorphoses' I was delighted. She is an overlooked figure in Greek mythology but described by Ovid as the creator of sea creatures, so an obvious heroine for me.
Referencing the dawn of time, Amphitrite on the shoreline, making porcelain fish on the beach, then looking at how, through global greed and overconsumption, we have changed the habitats of sealife now and the future of polluted oceans.
I have very mixed feelings about aquariums. I love watching the fish glide around the tanks, it appears restful and so elegant. Yet they are not in their natural habitats. They are trapped, or, are they protected? I am conflicted. However, I was thrilled with the footage which my husband, Robin Shelton, took of me watching the sharks and rays. Dreamy and wistful.
String of Pearls
This necklace is made up of hundreds of small hollow porcelain beads textured with a cockle shell and decorated with 5-6 different glazes. The spacers are made of rusty wire and is over four and a half metres in length.
Pearls have been valued throughout history for their precious uniqueness. They've always been used for decoration- on clothes and in jewellery, so it seemed an obvious choice to reference the classic string of pearls for this show. When, they return from Germany in April, I will ask Robin to do some Audrey Hepburn style shots of them á la 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'! Sunglasses, little black dress, and a lot of 'pearls' wound around the neck.
For more information about the show and the other wonderful participants in Metamorphoses...
Open until 2 April 2022
Join us to hear the makers talk about their inspiration and transformations:
Zoom Live Online Presentation: Sunday, 6 March 2022, 3.00 - 4.30 PM (CET)