Body + Jewel
The work highlighted in Body + Jewel represents a selection of pieces developed over a decade of research through critical practice, which has contributed to redefining the relationship between body and object within contemporary studio jewellery.
The enquiry aims to engage and challenge audience perception and the reading of "craft objects" and proposes alternative ways to understand body adornment. Hanson simultaneously refers to and defies tradition through scale, material and processes. There is a duality within this work where individual neckpieces as ‘objects’ explore notions of enclosure, interlocking and cohabitation which is echoed in their placement on the human form. Balancing on the body they require negotiation with the wearer; seeking to bring a level of physical consciousness.
Some of this work developed the enquiry Hanson established in her 2000 Jerwood prize submission. It extends work which subverts assumed definitions of jewellery, (wealth, luxury, privilege) through formal constructions, material combinations, scale and body context, creating multi-layered metaphors which operate on the boarders between applied and fine art. It proposes that individual pieces have value both as object and jewel and that sensory experience through the interaction of these objects challenges the wearer’s emotive, physical and visual perceptions. It confronts the viewer to understand the ring when not on the hand, or the neckpiece devoid of the body. It is the scale and contextual placing that defines these objects as applied art.
This work has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Most significantly in ‘Hanging in Balance’ a exhibition curated by Thiewes and Bonansinga which toured the USA in 2005 and the ‘European Triennial of Contemporary Jewellery 2002’ held at the Domaine du Chateau de Seneffe, funded by Belgium’s World Craft Council.
Selected work was also exhibited at ‘British Made’ (2001) at Galerie fur Schmuch Hilde Leiss, Hamburg, ‘COLLECT 2004’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum; and ‘Watkins Era’ (2005) CAA, London. Work was included in the 2005 book 'New Directions in Jewellery' (Astfalck, Broadhead and Derrez) and highlighted in an article by Chilleri for the European GZ Art & Design journal critiquing influential UK contemporary jewellery practitioners. As a result of this work Hanson was commissioned in 2006 to make a neckpiece for the Goldsmiths' Company Modern Collection, London.