'Pearls and Latex' - In Conjunction with Plymouth Art Weekender

By Rachel Darbourne

Artist statement:

The continuing theme within my practice is my interest in the inherent meaning and value of materials and how these qualities can be subverted and manipulated.

Pearls have a rich global cultural history and have been used as gems in jewellery for centuries. They are evocative, conjuring memories of Granny’s pearl necklace or the twinset and pearls that was popular in the 50’s; they are embedded within literary culture, we have sayings such as pearls of wisdom and pearls before swine, the latter possibly originating from Matthew 7:6 in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

Originating from Central America, Latex is also an organic material with a long cultural history. Today this material has its own connotations, it is the material of medical gloves, condoms and skin-tight clothing…

What happens when one combines evocative materials and adds satin ribbons and gold?

Rachel graduated from Middlesex University in 1994 with a BA in Jewellery and from the School of Jewellery, BCU with an MA in Jewellery, Silversmithing and related products in 2013. She is currently a lecturer at Plymouth College of Art for the BA 3D Design Crafts course.

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