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A Sense of Place: New jewellery from Northern Lands

Author: Claire Riddoch Published: 24th April 2012 12:04

A Sense of Place: New Jewellery from Northern Lands
National Museum of Scotland, Grand Gallery
18 May - 16 September
Free

This exhibition explores the relationship contemporary jewellers have with their environment. Six nations are involved in the project, each at the northern edge of European jewellery practice, and each with their own individual cultural histories and heritage.

As part of a doctorate research project, sixteen emerging, and established, jewellers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Scotland were asked to make two new works. The first piece was informed by a box of collected objects and materials that each artist gathered from an environment which is significant to them. This collection became a research process towards their tangible interpretation of place.

These 'Topophilia' (love of a place) boxes were then swapped, anonymously and at random, for another artist's box that formed the stimuli for the second piece of jewellery. The work is displayed in pairs alongside the corresponding box of source materials illustrating the different approaches taken by artists with the same stimuli. Visitors can compare how the artist's work is affected by working from the objects they have chosen and from objects that have been selected by someone else.

Through the work of this group of makers we can see both diversity and harmony in attitudes to the theme of place. This can be read in the variety of techniques, processes and materials employed and also in recurrent shared concerns such as the use of indigenous materials, the sanctuary of domestic space and the attraction of the sea and wild landscapes.

The collections in the boxes and the finished work are poetic responses to feelings of belonging through the language of making. This project is a celebration of our cultural links through our lived experience of our environment; cementing the bonds of cultural identity through collected and crafted material objects and forming new connections to our place in the world.

In partnership with Edinburgh College of Art
Part of Edinburgh Art Festival and Year of Creative Scotland

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