Small change at Central Saint MartinsPublié par Marie-Eve Rochon le 30 janvier 2014
Bread rings, fish scales earrings and chocolate jewellery are a few of the pieces exhibited today at Central Saint Martins. Foundation students created some inspiring products for their « Small change » event. From water bottle clutches to clay pipes, braided yarn necklaces and geometric wood clocks, the bold choice of materials is what strikes most.
Recycling is a clear theme for many students, but the interest of this sale / exhibit stretches much further than the environment. The name of the show, Small change, was judiciously chosen. It relates first to the relatively low prices of the goods, and also to the sociocultural issues that students aim to question, underline and alter, however so slightly.
Bokyung Kim designed a series of unique brooches and rings in melted candle wax and withered flowers. Part of the appeal is that they are clearly ephemeral, which makes them all the more poetic. These fantasy-like pieces are meant to constantly remind us of our connection to nature by allowing us to carry it around all day. It is a simple yet beautiful idea. Perhaps most fascinating is that, for this intent, the artist juxtaposed a man-made by-product of petroleum, paraffin wax, and natural twigs, petals and pistils.
The power of contradiction is also vivid in Erica Heng’s work. She created necklace pendants with used bullet cases in order to shed light on the violence associated with firearms. Her research focused on the arms trade, but for obvious practical reasons she sourced her .36 calibre cartridges at a local shooting range. Below these bullet shells are fragile white flowers, symbolizing purity and innocence, enclosed in clear lucite. It brings to mind Boris Vian’s famous surrealist novel « Froth on the Daydream », when the main character, out of desperation, takes a job to « grow » guns in a disturbingly barren environment, but can only produce them with steel roses coming out of the barrel.