Looking At Gold
Group exhibition at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre & Tamworth Regional Gallery, Sydney, 2023
Part of a group exhibition at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre & Tamworth Regional Gallery, Sydney Influenced by the lack of visual interpretations of my Jamaican and Caribbean heritage, my works explore Indigenous artefacts through the multimodal processes of jewellery making, capturing the intimacy of wearing objects that carry messages.
Through curiosity and experimentation, these works explore the preciousness of gold, its inherent material malleability and turbulent historical connections with the Caribbean. They examine how autoethnography can compel an artist's practice and reveal itself through jewellery and objects.
The livery pendant necklace shows the silhouette of three Jamaican Cemis – wooden ceremonial objects that are held in the British Museum. Here incorporated as decolonial symbols, still tucked away in colonial museum archives. These stories and symbols are continued through the use of shadows as the brooch obscures and reflects light.
When specifically working in the jewellery studio, in my quest to communicate with an obscured ancient history, I emphasise a process of haptic tactility. It is impractical to handle artefacts as they can be easily damaged and are irreplaceable. For example, Jamaicans can hold, wear, and connect with their Taino links through these jewellery items. The creation of new jewellery and objects has a two-fold purpose: it serves as mementoes bearing witness to ancestry, and at the same time, it compels further exploration of form and content through iterations of the design process.
Looking At Gold: Cemi Shadows, 2022, Single-channel with audio, 1:27 minutes
1. Looking At Gold: Cemi Gold, Shadow Line Brooch, 2022, 9ct gold wire, clear acrylic, stainless steel, 15x 8 x 6 cm
2. Looking At Gold: Cemi Livery Shoulder Piece, 2022, Brass. Photographed by J Mills.