Human hair, jawbones and the queen’s nose were just some of the unusual materials this year’s RCA Jewellery, Goldsmithing, Silversmithing and Metalwork graduates were experimenting with. ARTS THREAD takes a look at some of the best and most bizarre collections on show.
Nina Khazani’s Hairy Tale collection left us feeling a little bit itchy. Using human hair, she created a series of accessories that were both disgusting and humorous.
‘I believe that hair inherits power and beauty and is the ultimate garment growing from within us,’ says Khazani. ‘It is beautiful and soft, and yet stubborn to work with. It likes to go its own way but so do I.’
Laurie Schram examined our relationship with currency for her graduate collection. In her Silver Dollar piece, Schram electroformed a US Dollar in fine silver. Only by scratching off the silver coating can the wearer discover its true worth.
‘Playing with money as a material is a means to examine its power and the promise it bears,’ explains Schram. ‘Each bill or coin is an expression of utopia in itself, a spell we are under collectively. Altering its physical manifestation and adjusting the narrative teases the rigidity of the game.’
Julie Usel’s graduate collection studies the affect anxiety has on the creative process. Each ring in the collection represents the range of anxieties an artist can experience – either closing in on itself and internalising the anxiety or exploding.
The collection was accompanied by a series of graphic monoprints that depict the pain and anguish experienced by artists and designers as they fight to overcome creative blocks.
Emma Montague’s eyewear collection was a morbid take of luxury.
‘As raw remnants collide with smooth surfaces, hybrid forms take shape within this new collection of eyewear and jewellery,’ explains Montague. ‘By subverting status symbols of personal adornment, dualities are left exposed, mirroring our own identity.’
Follow the RCA thread to see more highlights from this year’s degree show.