My current project, The New Geology – Creating a New Value System, stems from the ideas of alternative living, sustainability and the recycling and re-use of materials that emerged in the 1960s and 70s. Artist communities like “Drop City” (Co, USA), are an example of this, where on rural land, geodesic domes inspired by Buckminster Fuller were built by artists with found and available materials, such as old car roofs, steel rod, reclaimed wooden posts and plastics.
The detritus that currently litters the world’s landscapes; particularly in developing countries is evidence of what has been discarded. Through my travels I have witnessed how this garbage accumulates and is eventually buried, waiting to be (re)-discovered.
The upcycling of materials allows not only for re-use but lets the selected material occupy a place of honor. It is my intention to construct jewellery objects set with the wrought iron, various plastics, raw stones, wooden laminates, porcelain shards as well as other composites that I have collected from what I coin “global garbage”. These materials are to be deconstructed, re-purposed and contained within fabricated metal frames and armatures that reference alternative architecture and the stone setting. This attempts to capture, document and celebrate discarded materials in the making of something new and innovative. It introduces a new kind of geology, with the discovery being waste items, rather than the intrinsically valuable, previously mined precious gemstones. Prospecting for industrial, synthetic and composite materials and breathing new life into these fragments and units, which would otherwise be thrown away, introduces a new value system. My research of alternative and modular living around the world, which has often incorporated these discarded materials in building, permits me to synthesize these findings with the making of sculptural jewellery objects.
This body of work seeks to create with what already exists as opposed to encouraging unethical consumer culture and mass production. Within our current paradigm, it is imperative to find sustainable means to live and work. This is not limited to organic farming, alternative power and living but also entails art, objects, design and culture. Such a philosophy forces makers to work within a specific framework in order to discover new methods and aesthetics and redefines what constitutes contemporary art jewellery. By using materials that I have found leftover at construction sites, home renovation cast offs as well as items I have found in the ground and combining them with recycled metals allows me to construct beautiful intentional ornamentation. This body of work will illustrate how, as artists, we can successfully create and produce while maintaining an environmental approach to our respective artistic disciplines regardless of medium.