I've been working on my new project looking into mental health, the taboo surrounding it and how it effects the sufferers. I've been dealing with anxiety for about 6 months now and have dealt with other issues in my past, I have so many friends who struggle with their own mental health and it is estimated that one in four people suffer with mental health problems, yet still society seems to frown on discussing it or being open about your experiences.
This troubles me. How can we heal when we don't even feel like we can let people know there is a problem? One of my art heroes, Louise Bourgeois, uses mirrors in her work to represent the self, something that I've always been drawn to. However I think mirrors represent the presented self. They are a literal reflection of how we wish to be seen hiding beneath the surface is our true selves.
By using whole, broken, and repaired mirrors, my new collection explores the different stages of mental health and the pressure to present a perfect image of yourself, when inside you are broken.
I had heard of the Japanese technique called Kintsugi, the art of using gold lacquer to repair broken pottery. But it is more than just making a repair look pretty, it is about understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. This is how I want people to feel about depression, anxiety, etc. I want people to see that they are beautiful for having been broken down and come through the other side. So I will make some pieces of repaired mirror using the Kintsugi technique.
This project is very close to my heart, and I will be donating 10% of the takings from each piece to local mental health charities. I'm also looking for models to volunteer for a photo shoot with the new collection, but I don't want any old model. I would love to have people who have suffered or are suffering with mental health difficulties to come and celebrate their beautiful broken selves! Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
I will be launching the collection at International Jewellery London, September 4th-6th 2016.