Normality

Brass brooch

Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it. 

Vincent van Gogh

It is actually refreshing to search for difference and view things in different ways. It is not something I do consciously, rather I seem to have a natural aversion to ‘normal’. If I am told by a sales assistant ‘this is so popular right now’ I put it back. I don’t like accepting average, ’normal’. Maybe this just makes me fussy and hard to get on with.

I see beauty in mundane objects. Why does something have to sparkle and present an image of ‘luxury’ to be worthwhile? Paradoxically I find that … mundane. It suggests the owner places more importance in financial value than art. Maybe the mainstream jewellery industry promotes this as the ideal and that can be hard to see past. Of course historically gold and precious stones were the preserve of the rich and famous – royalty and clergy. There were even laws forbidding commoners from owning gold objects (not that they could ever afford them). All this contributes to the preciousness and status of noble metals and jewels, so it is perhaps no surprise that people aspire to owning expensive jewellery. 

But jewellery is now less about status, except for monetary. Enlightened collectors with any budget can afford to buy items with great artistic merit. Over the last century perceptions about beauty and design have changed. Modern art and world wars have been two of the contributors to this.

Artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Wassily Kandinsky and Pablo Picasso have changed the way we view art. Architects like Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright changed forever our expectations of commercial and residential building. Art and design movements such as the Bauhaus taught modern design, encompassing typography and print design, fabrics, architecture, photography, metal work, ceramics and much more. 

All this changed how jewellery was perceived and valued, and contributed to flourishing art and craft movements worldwide that explored different design approaches and materials. 

I cannot help but walk an unpaved road. It has more interest, more beauty, more surprises and alleyways that lead to different discoveries and that is very appealing. My work is a response to the alleyways I follow, and I feel my art is richer for it.

Thanks to Style Subjective for reminding me of Vincent van Gogh’s quote.

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