In June 2020, I got my master degree in jewellery design, contemporary and silver & goldsmithing at the Antwerp academy. It was an intense and very uncommon year due to the pandemic. The workshops were completely closed for the most critical time of the year so we kind of had to improvised in order to bring our thoughts to finished pieces. As you may know, they have been made in a very short time, this is why my master project has this more experimental and unfinished research look.
Just like my bachelor project, I keep being attracted by the coexistence of smooth and 'perfect' aspect with decay and 'imperfect' materials, textures, shapes we can find all around us in our everyday life... I think this is a topic I will keep working on and on for a long time so I'd like to share with you this project which is still very present in my work.
Through their shapes, textures, movements, hands reveal different aspects of our lives. Their charismatic dance brings meaning and an additional richness to our communication. I like to think that our hands are an ephemeral and temporal beauty. They mirror our lives and thus reveal part of the truth. A truth that is not always bright and that we are not very proud of. Certain significant moments in our lives leave a trace on our hands, sometimes visible, sometimes subtle. Often injured, we tend to hide them. And yet, it is a part of our body that is difficult to cover, because it is regularly used.
Our skin is constantly expressing emotions that are sometimes veiled, morose feelings. For some, these emotions are released through diseases such as vitiligo, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eczema, ... For others, anxiety leads to self-destructive behaviour. They may consist of brutal bites that stop only at the sight of blood. Humans are constantly striving for perfection, but why does it always have to be smooth? Perhaps we should face what is right in front of us: our hands and their «imperfections». Accept them for what they are: a wrinkle that gets deeper, a bone that becomes apparent, a skin that peels off... Perhaps we should take the time to observe ourselves. Maybe we should no longer look at them as a whole or idealize them, but rather focus on fragments, discover and begin to appreciate every little part of ourselves. I would like to share with you this ability to find perfection in imperfection, beauty in what has lived, what defines us.
These strange times have allowed me to reconsider my way of working. Deprived of the tools necessary for metal creation, the atmosphere of my universe was crucial. I expanded my visual research into as many mediums as possible. The process of making the jewel became more important than the final result. Despite the circumstances, I remained sensitive to the choice of working with silver. Being a noble and quite malleable metal, I decided to expose it to prolonged pressure and explore its limits. In addition to its cracks, the metal takes shape and a texture is created once the tension is released. Through its white colour, the light delicately interferes between reliefs and burrs. These pettinesses are of a singular beauty. I liken this process to the anxiety visible on our hands. At the same time, I seek to break the codes of traditional jewelry, and to bring to light different elements of our hands that are not generally exploited in the wearing of jewelry as we know it.