Talking through Jewellery – with Laura Bradshaw-Heap. An interactive exhibition at QCA as part of the 15th Biennial JMGA 2013 Conference.
Talking Through Jewellery with Laura Bradshaw-Heap
Jewellery is an integral part of our lives. We make it, are given it and inherit it. It talks about us, shapes us and creates social connections with those around us.
As jewellers we often focus a great deal on why we are making an object, and how we to make it, however much less time is often taken in stepping back and seeing how others read our work. How we write about, curate and support our work greatly affects how other see and understand it.
Together, we will work together to develop a variety of critical, analytical and curatorial techniques and will aim to produce a high quality display, the results which are on show for the duration of the 15th Biennele JMGAconference.
The Artwork © AK Milroy: In conversation – the stuff that binds.
A conversation between a hand formed silver box, two gold rings (the gold having been found, refined, alloyed, and fabricated into wedding rings), a pencil, orange silk string (from a Laotian cloth), two white plinths, six people and the larger JMGA audience. Within this artist’s practice, particularly as academic researcher, there is a strong requirement to “textualise” works of art, to translate this language of materiality into other forms, so that more may understand their meaning. Should the work be able to “speak” for itself? What is lost in translation, what is gained? These are the dilemmas currently under investigation.
Laura Bradshaw Hemp facilitated this exhibition of six; requiring the artists to look at things, at objects, at stuff made, assembled, written or acquired. They positioned their work as installations in a white rectangular room with one door and no windows. Turns were taken “read” each other’s installations. Some messages were easy to read, some obscure, some LOUD, some whispers, some angry, some spiritual and some still yet un-revealed (even to the maker). The exhibition was built up, discussed, pulled down and built it again. What are the artists’ intentions, what are we trying to communicate? The final exhibition – with the intention to strike up a “material” conversation with the viewer, and using the things/objects/stuff as translators (in the artist’s absence).
In Conversation (AK Milroy, 2014) Research statement
How are the objects doing? Are you engaged? In conversation? What do you hear when listening to the language of the objects, their placement, their materiality?
Perhaps you need some notes, a map, some clues, this isn’t after all, your first language? If you know me personally it may help – these are little stories involving me, as one of the actors.
Did you see the silver Buddha in the box suspended from the ceiling? An orange thread, binding the line through the silver, down onto the plinth, around the plinth and its orange line, the thread continues, over to the next plinth, around the orange line, through the wedding rings, the handmade book, around the pencil, a and down to the floor.
This is a story, a memory of time spent in Asia, of daily Buddhist ritual, of Monks in the temple, binding objects, people together in a meditation, of sound, chanting, om….the sound of the universe.
It speaks of the complex interconnectedness of things, of how things change and how they don’t.
A participant’s question: “how is the string connected to the work?” And the artist’s response “it isn’t”” PAUSE – triggers a lost memory … “oh..actually…” and suddenly the string is embodied with more than an aesthetic function, and a memory is re-awakened, of being bound by cord, in a wedding ritual by a monk, in a house in Laos. Suddenly, by talking through the art, the artist can also see how the objects are related, and how these connections are strong and delicate and can be made and broken.
There is a pencil in the installation, the left hand pages of the book are blank, and are a spot for a chance encounter, some conversation – in your language, as a drawing, a mark, some words, between the objects, the viewer and the maker.
About Laura Bradshaw-Heap
Laura Bradshaw-Heap graduated with a Masters in Jewellery Design (Distinction) from the London Metropolitan University in 2011. She has qualifications in Applied Media and Arts as well as Arts Development and Teaching, and has been the recipient of a number of awards, including Artist in Residence at the School of Jewellery, Birmingham University.
She has previously worked with Irish Travellers, a self-published book which explored this project was recently launched at the Irish Embassy in London. Her recent work includes a project with a group of Refugees from Bosnia Herzegovina, which was promoted at London Refugee Week.
She curated her first group show during Schmuck 2012. ‘Suspended in Pink’, Bradshaw-Heap’s current curatorial project, will travel to four countries and has fifty exhibitors from all over the world taking part. For more information visit: http://suspendedinpink.blogspot.co.uk