The collection comprises up-cycled vintage costume jewellery “re-framed” in industrial steel chain. The pieces are then lacquered white and presented as a “blank canvas”. However, an invisible coating of photo-chromic light-sensitive paint, activated by the sun, transforms the pieces from blank white to an arresting interplay of painterly colour and light when the jewellery is worn in sunlight. My work plays with mystery and the inherent qualities of light. I aim to subvert or cause a displacement of the clichéd visual language of traditional jewellery by re-framing such clichés as “found” fashion jewellery and (industrial) chain in a new and unconventional context in order to deconstruct the text of the tradition.
The work explores the notion of peripeteia, which is a sudden and unexpected change of fortune, a reverse of circumstances or a turning point. It swiftly turns a routine sequence of events into a captivating story. “The Blank Canvas” explores the notion of peripeteia as a change from a state of blankness to one of colour which interacts with the play of light, turning the routine sequence of captivating sparkly set stones as the cornerstone of jewellery into an unexpected change of events.
The title “The Blank Canvas”, comes from Robert Rauschenberg’s statement that “A canvas is never empty”. I have explored that statement from the understanding that white (blank) reflects and contains all other colours within it. In my work, I aim to “shed new light” on our perception of jewellery, calling into question our pre-conceived notions. My photo-chromic jewellery allows us to engage with an object which is constantly changing in response to its environment. Depending on the time of day, season, and environment in which my jewellery is worn, it reveals its innate qualities differently and alters our perceptions.