January 27, 2016
Astrology is my most recent collection where I really wanted to create something simple, minimal and light that also had intense meaning beyond the aesthetically interesting shapes.
- Jacapo Tintoretto, 'Origin of the Milky Way'
I think that every person who was taken to a planetarium on a school trip or on a rainy day in the summer holidays has a lasting impression of the experience. In the inverted cinema setting, our minuscule place in the universe and our tiny period of time on this tiny planet compared to the great lifespan of the stars is impressed upon us. My school also invited a group of storytellers to perform and we were led in small groups into a specially constructed yurt where they presented us with different tales from the stars from their cultures; Nordic, Mediterranean and Canadian myths where the simple dots of light were joined to form fantastical beasts.
A constellation is a region of the night sky as we see it in which a group of stars are contained, and so as our technology has improved more and more stars have appeared to fill each constellation. It was a challenge to take into consideration which stars to include and which to leave out when comparing 18th century illustrations with modern diagrams published by NASA but I hope to have achieved a balance between simplicity and accuracy.
In the 2nd century CE, the Egyptian scholar Claudius Ptolemy wrote his Almagest which is one of the main sources of informations for Ancient Greek astronomy. (http://www.britannica.com/topic/Almagest) Even close to two thousand years ago the stars were a subject of both scientific study and auspicious wonder. Ptolemy listed many of the constellations we know today, but as studies extended into the southern hemisphere the total number of recognised constellations has nearly doubled. Meanwhile the line “Thou are the evening star, of all stars the fairest I think," is attributed to the female poet Sappho's song to Hesperus.
-By Collage Artist Joe Webb
This innate fascination with the stars and the duality they present in our culture, being both mystical and scientific, is what inspired this collection. Having studied the myths recorded by Apollodorus and Ovid I was dismayed that people had grown so used to the animals or stylised female figures that illustrate the weeks magazine horoscopes. Nobody I spoke to knew why their date of birth was illustrated by a lion or a pair of fish. I decided to redress the balance (I am a Libra after all!) each piece from this collection comes with a card describing its origin myth.
The result is a range of jewellery that from a distance appears simple, an abstract shape or molecule, but conveys a much deeper meaning to the wearer.
A selection of designs from the Collection: (Shop the Astrology Collection here)
September 17, 2020
September 10, 2020
September 04, 2020