Untitled, 2010. Porcelain and steel wire.

Untitled, 2010. Porcelain and steel wire.

Contemporary Jewellery: A Transient Concept

The notion of approaching display in terms of movement and interaction challenges conventional attitudes to museum design and provides new strategies for communication and the learning experience. my own approach is developed to practically explore the implications of materiality and 

dematerialisation within craft display. by creating a delicate piece of wearable jewellery inspired by an Elizabethan ruff, my intention isto visually represent the curatorial challenges of addressing preservation and ownership when presenting a craft object. 

The design, crafted from lace soaked in porcelain slip, is extremely fragile and disintegrates when touched. Its appearance or physical state, which is intended to embrace the transient quality of the material, is designed to evolve over time due to its delicate form and interaction from the audience. A steel framework that supports the delicate form is set over a hidden speaker connected to a microphone. This detects and amplifies background noise and the approaching footsteps of the viewer. Over time, these auditory vibrations effectively destroy the piece, producing an interactive demonstration of material transience.

 

An extension of this study explores methods of display that provide permanence to the live performance that conform to the gallery setting.  A series of static images allows the viewer to study the object’s material content and contemplate the changes in each image. Photographs showing the porcelain’s deterioration are arranged in a chronological line directing the viewer’s movement across the wall space of the gallery. In accordance with dynamic methods in exhibition design, I introduced two auditory clips that accompany the visual information which are played separately at each end of the wall display. At the beginning of the sequence, the sound of footsteps and other accompanying noises from an audience is heard. The sound, which is taken from the original performance, represents those involved in the porcelain’s destruction. As the viewer progresses along the row of images the sound of smashing ceramics begin to replace the sound of footsteps.

 Contemporary Jewellery: A Transient Concept, 2010. Exhibition set up.

Contemporary Jewellery: A Transient Concept, 2010. Exhibition set up.