Touchstone: reminders of the moments in between
Exhibition dates: 12 Sep – 1 Oct, 2016
Launch: Friday 16 Sep, 5-7pm. firstname.lastname@example.org
The past has passed. The future has yet to come. You are right here, right now. How do you find meaning in everyday life? What makes you stop and enjoy the richness of the present?
Handmade objects can play a part in helping us become more mindful. Taking a moment to hold, study, touch and examine a meaningful object can be a way to slow down time.
Eleven e.g.etal artists have each designed rings for a new exhibition titled ‘Touchstone’. These objects allow the wearer pay closer attention to the world. Every time the wearer notices the ring, they may take a moment to touch it, go within and breathe. To snap out of the ‘autopilot’ of life and engage with the moment.
Susanna Strati uses 3D printing and traditional jewellery making techniques in her work. Her series of rings features a granulated surface that invites touch and also shields the precious contents of the ring. When opened, a hollow cavity inside the ring in the shape of a teardrop provokes private contemplation. As a reference point and touchstone, the ring acts as a vehicle for which ‘things of emotion’ can be stored, valued and if desired, reawakened in the present.
Natalia Milosz-Piekarska’s 18ct yellow gold ring features a smooth piece of carnelian with small diamonds studded in the band. The simple, ethereal signet ring is designed to function as a blank canvas, one that the wearer can dream in to and project on to. “As a maker, you inadvertently always project something of your own sentiment into your work,” said Natalia. This quiet piece allows ‘space’ for the wearer to also imbue the ring with their own personal sensibility.
Vikki Kassioras has created a series of three handcrafted silver rings etched with symbols abstracted from the Hand of Fatima. “I have done much research over the years into these very old and ancient symbols of protection,” said Vikki. “The incised lines and patterns that can are found on these items range from the ornately decorative and masterfully made to the crude and rough. I find drawing and looking at these types of patterns makes you still and meditative.”
Emma Jane Donald’s ‘Enigma’ yellow gold ring stack features cropped pyramids separated by even spaces. Designed to be moved and spin like a lock or cog, the rings offer a contemporary take on ‘spinner’ or ‘worry’ rings. Touching and moving the rings can have a naturally calming effect. Stacked together, the wearer forms their own combination.
Robyn Wilson’s ‘Pinch’ ring is inspired by her personal journey. “I have embarked on a change of career, one which I wasn’t sure I would succeed at but one that I am finding some success in. I feel I need to ‘pinch myself’ to remind myself of my good fortune.” Her sterling silver ring is hand-formed into a ‘pinch’ to allow the wearer a tactile locus for feelings of gratitude and appreciation.
Cass Partington’s ‘Light in the Darkness’ ring stack is a celebration of the natural flow of life. “The unhappy and difficult parts of life are what really make the good parts stand out,” said Cass. “Without the darkness, there is no contrast for the light.” This tall stack of heavily textured and dark silver rings surrounds a selection of shining, sparkling gems. These gems become the touchstone: the reminder of the precious moments in between.
Sarah Heyward is inspired by the people who allow her to feel present in everyday life: her children. She has created two rings that sit together and speak of love, vulnerability, play, strength and laughter. One ring, in 18ct yellow gold set with rough diamonds, celebrates the softness and fragility of motherhood. This ring nestles within an oxidised fused silver and gold ring that symbolises strength and power.
Anita Crowther has made three opal rings flanked by sapphires. As an artist fascinated by gemstones, fossils and minerals, Anita finds mindfulness in the mesmerising quality of natural stones. “Opals are so interesting and interactive, the wearer will always be drawn in to look, pause and wonder as they take a moment to be entranced by the flash and fire of light playing upon the stone,” said Anita.
Claire Taylor’s 9ct rose gold ring features a pebble found in Croatia, enveloped in metal and set with small black diamonds. The smooth, organically shaped amalgamation of stone and metal invites touch. “This stone I found in Croatia, when I was appreciating the elements and beauty around me, taking the time to look more closely at small things,” said Claire. “Stones are smooth to touch, beautiful to hold, and I like the idea of setting a non-precious stone in a precious material, to give it it’s own sense of worth.”
Romy Mittelman has created a ring containing a stone belonging to her grandfather, Jack Widawski. “He had a great eye for diamonds, rubies and emeralds,” said Romy. “He learned about precious gems as a young man where he worked in his fathers shop as a jeweller and watchmaker just after the Holocaust.” Before Romy’s grandfather died he gave her a small bag full of stones. Romy’s ring for ‘Touchstone’ features an onyx sheet that carries an abundance of memories. “I like to think that my grandfather would be happy that it has been encased in one of my rings, and his story lives on in a piece of jewellery to be worn by someone else,” said Romy.
As the only international artist featured in ‘Touchstone’, Spanish jeweller Jose Marin’s ‘Jewels of the Sea Floor’ series comprises large, oversized rings in coloured titanium, silver, precious stones and Australian pearls. “This series pays homage to my beloved Mediterranean Sea, where so many times I have immersed myself and found absolute peace,” said Jose.
‘Touchstone’ will exhibit at e.g.etal from 12 September to 1 October, 2016.