Naomi Clarke

Magnetic Memories

I am fascinated with the dialogue and provenance that surrounds our most valued belongings. Treasured family stories are rarely written down or recorded, but accrue as memories imbued in our heirlooms, evidencing lives lived before us. Passed down through generations, inaccuracies inevitably creep in and our inheritance becomes entangled with a contemporary view. Facts begin to merge with fiction and a new narrative is born. And so the cycle continues.

The impression of the biography that is carried with jewellery has become central to my practice. I create simple geometric forms that outwardly do not appear to be wearable yet can nestle and wrap around the contents of a jewellery box. The multi-layered narratives of past and present are represented through stripped down imagery set in enamel and steel of identical sizes and shapes. Thus each memory becomes equal to the next, but interchangeable as magnetic components allow for the wearer to rearrange them, creating new and wearable ornamental narratives in doing so.

Crafted through hand processes that reflect the emotional investment carried in the heirlooms and the stories that surround them, my jewellery represents a singular, sensory expression of the relationships that exist in owning and wearing jewellery of mixed histories and heritage.

Materials: Vitreous enamel, steel, bocote wood, tulipwood, neodymium magnets.

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