The complex process of expressing myself creatively is an intensely personal one and my works are strongly auto-biographical, albeit from hindsight. My jewellery inevitably refers to my personality and my context, acting as both a lens and a mirror – reflecting characteristics of my Self yet also acting as a window through which I discern hitherto unnoticed facets of my inner and outer reality.
My strongly visual and tactile perception of the world around me is foregrounded in my current work. I do not set out with predefined, premeditated theoretical concepts, but rather design intuitively, allowing shapes/forms to freely emerge on paper. The subsequent development of such forms is solely determined by formal, aesthetic and technical considerations.
As I translate chosen shapes into different materials, connotations and associations emerge which allow me to develop an understanding of what might have inspired that particular amalgamation of lines, colours and textures in space. It is thus only as forms evolve into three-dimensional objects that they start to suggest their own meaning, appearing to visually recollect, interpret, combine and express various of my sensory and emotive experiences. I work backwards, so to speak, or, in semiotic terms: I create signifiers (objects) based on formal and aesthetic considerations, which then slowly evolve into signifieds (concepts presented by the objects).
It is through these visual and tactile interpretations of memories that I understand my work in terms of self-reflection, -representation and -expansion. The pieces are the clear result of my creative process and my methodology behind it, whilst they mirror my character traits, typify my Self and reference my past. Also, the pieces form a tangible analogy to my ever-present personal tendency to reflect, contemplate, wonder and philosophize. In a way, my pieces expand my cognitive and emotive activities – allowing my Self to spill into a tactile and visual space which allows me a fuller treatment and investigation of my on-going play with questions and answers.
Whilst my work is neither as experimental nor as overtly conceptual as much of European, Asian and American contemporary jewellery currently is, it precisely captures today’s underlying notions of innovative art jewellery “[which] is strongly marked by emotions, personalities and gender, links between the old and the new, and also an emphasis on the aesthetics of materials” (Wolfgang Lösche, Head of Department for Fairs and Exhibitions, Handwerkskammer München und Oberbayern, in his preface to the catalogue of Schmuck 2010, Munich’s annual international competition and show for contemporary jewellery). My pieces are evocative, distinctly feminine and they reveal an express interest in the enormous formal and technical potential of metal. In using the here and now to recollect and interpret past moments, I connect past and present, creating something new from something old, yet with an inevitable reference to my African context.
AnGela, October 2010