Last Friday saw the launch of Ditto, a jewellery exhibition curated by Chantal Louw from The Fringe Arts. Chantal challenged eight jewellers (including myself) to create a piece of jewellery that spoke about the ‘oeuvre’ of our chosen South African artist, therefore ‘celebrating the synergies between art and design’.

I chose Andrew Putter who’s work I have known of for some time but only recently understood what it was about. I chose to look at his series ‘African Hospitality’. This series tells the story of  the Europeans that were shipwrecked in the 1700’s on the coast of Mpondoland. Most drowned but some were rescued by the local tribes and even adopted into them. One famous example is that of Bessie, the a 6 year old British girl who ended up marrying a chief and becoming a powerful Xhosa Queen.

In Andrew’s work, he takes Europeans and puts them in traditional tribal clothing of that period, keeping the odd European jewel, hairstyle and classical pose. Showing this mix of cultures. I have tried to mirror this is my piece – creating a necklace that at first impression looks typically like a 17th Century European jewel but when you take a closer look, you can see I have tried to use only materials that would have been found in Mpondoland at that time period.

Here are the other works on exhibit. Some chose to draw inspiration from their chosen artists while others did collaborations.

Marietjie Beeselaarl and Marli Lyon, Eon Hoon and the Black Heart Gang

Metaxia Sterianos and Rebecca Jones, Megan McFall and Carla da Cruz.

Emma Atkinson and Lindi Sales, Gillian Fuller and Colin Payne.

Caryn Fourie and Peter Mikael Campbell.

The exhibition is on until the 25th May 2012.

All images taken by myself. For some reviews of the exhibition, visit here and here.


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