Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 3rd 2015 Contents B40
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 3, 2015
Y Gallery showed jewellery in an
artistic light, as Jewelbox, an exhi-
bition of work by six designers,
opened on April 26.
This year's show, the third edition,
was focused on the theme of light,
and each artist shared his or her own
The launch attracted a large and
lively crowd of people, who milled
around and chatted as they examined
the jewellery on show. The artists,
Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, Jade Drakes,
Rachel Ross, Janice Derrick, Ashraph
and Barbara Jardine, were also on
hand to discuss their creations.
Multimedia artist and mas producer
Ashraph showed earrings, pins and
necklaces in ebony, sterling silver and
crystals---all inspired by fireflies. He
said the illuminated insects symbolised
"the universal quest for light."
Some of his pins, depicting winged
insects with skull heads and crowns,
were very whimsical, displayed against
black backgrounds for contrast.
Jasmine Thomas-Girvan's pieces
took the form of blown-glass hearts
and sealed vials, with tiny intricate
objects---dice, feathers, miniature
gears, skulls and more---placed inside.
There were also framed multimedia
pieces where the glass heart motif
also appeared. Girvan also utilised
inspirational quotes, hand-written or
printed on long strips of paper.
The work invoked themes of
preservation, love, death, beauty and
Thomas-Girivan said she included
the words of some of her favourite
authors, including Olive Senior,
Edwige Danticat and Pablo Neruda,
as "writing is another facet of the
artistic process." She said she focused
on "inner light," adapting the concept
of the show to the issues that have
always concerned her.
Janice Derrick said her collection,
using recycled gold, silver and stones,
"represented a real departure" from
her previous work. Her bracelets, ear-
rings and necklaces were textured in
appearance, "less geometric and much
more organic" than her usual offerings.
She said it was the result of a new
and experimental technique, involving
working the precious metals while
Jade Drakes presented two collec-
tions of silver rings, based on the con-
cept of "light inside us and light
between us." Some of the rings were
designed as interconnected pairs,
which could be screwed onto each
other, which she said represented love
and connection between people.
Another set represented the chakras
of the body.
She said she was inspired by the
fact that we are made from the atoms
of exploded stars: "We are connected.
We are light."
Barbara Jardine utilised the delicate
beauty of sea urchins found in Bar-
bados in her pieces, along with crys-
tals, mother-of-pearl, silver and 18-
karat gold. She said she had found a
way to make them durable, while still
showing off their "exquisite detail"
which she likened to "3-dimentional
Her collection included earrings,
necklaces and rings, as well as a bud
vase and perfume bottle. She used
neutral tones as well as darker greys,
she said, to bring in the idea of shad-
ow, against the playfulness of light.
Rachel Ross said her selections,
mostly new works, were made with
mothers in mind. She worked with
large pearls, which she said were very
"traditional and feminine." Her
chunky pearl necklaces and crystal
brooches, crafted in silver and gold
and set with zircon and rock crystals,
had an opulent look. Ross' collection
also featured objects for the first time,
including a bud vase crafted from a
crystal cube and embellished with
silver, and two silver jiggers.
Jewelbox continues at Y Gallery on
Taylor Street in Woodbrook until May
A review by
Y Art Gallery s Jewelbox exhi-
bition takes on prismatic propor-
tions, splitting the light of cre-
ativity into a number of different
wavelengths. Drawing on the UN
designation of 2015 as the Inter-
national Year of Light, artists Jade
Drakes, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan,
Ashraph, Rachel Ross, Janice Der-
rick and Barbara Jardine offer
designs that reflect a spectrum
Drakes presents matching rings:
one featuring a screw protruding
from its shank and the other car-
rying a tapped hole.
The designs are an invitation
for their potential wearers to con-
nect to each other---to bridge
divides and see interrelatedness.
She takes her inspiration from a
scientific view that life on earth is
composed of stardust; the debris
from exploded stars. She therefore
points to an inner light, which she
explores further in a complemen-
tary series of rings inspired by the
seven chakras or energy centres of
Pieces in this series include ster-
ling silver renderings of the heart,
throat and third eye, which under-
score forces of love, communica-
tion and intuition.
Thomas-Girvan also attends to
an internal luminescence, though
not in the same manner. She
describes an inner flare with blown
glass pieces that take the form of
a transparent heart.
Within this light source, she
encases strips of paper with word
slivers and sentence fragments.
These see-through vessels are an
open call to the viewer to have a
word with them---a heart-to-heart.
Each vessel is also a pot out of
which grows stems and leaves,
some of which the artist presents
in relief to give a sense of three-
dimensionality and living vitality.
Thomas-Girvan plays with the
idea of love, care and hope as
lights---the seeds essential for life,
relationships and maturation.
Rachel Ross harnesses the tex-
tures of her metals to bounce light
in thrillingly different ways. Her
hammered and reticulated silver
pieces scatter light around the
exhibition space, while her polished
metals give more focused, spec-
tacular reflections. Janice Derrick's
molten-looking rings, bangles and
earrings (a stylistic departure from
her customary clean lines) echo
the fluidity of colour that a dance
of light and darkness brings---from
faint hues perceptible at dawn to
intense oranges at midday and the
charcoal tones of dusk.
It is not the first time Barbara
Jardine uses sea urchin textures in
her work and she brings her exper-
imentation with the material to
this show. Her emphasis is on the
shimmer of patterns with the
colour grey infused into a palette
of gold and silver as a nod to light's
Ashraph uses a series of black
boxes in which to set his jeweled
creatures of light. Fireflies made
of oxidized sterling silver and
Swarovski crystals hang from
ebony stalks to become dangling
earrings. His insects sit on branches
in the format of a horizontal pen-
dant and one of the glowing,
winged animals becomes trapped
in a thicket in his sculpture-cum-
His brooches are little phantom
keepers of light while a moon pen-
dant winks in a dark sky. Amid his
array of jewelley is the ring titled
Thinking of Light. It is a fun, sub-
lime take on Rodin's well-known
sculpture The Thinker.
Each of Ashraph's black boxes
and its contents appear as the
frame from an animated film or
the page of a storybook. He gives
the viewer an enthralling narrative
that straddles the space of real
memories of moonlit nights and
firefly-catching adventures and
that of a delicious myth about the
unseen guardians of light energy.
His designs put reality in intimate
contact with the realm of imag-
ination, where anything is possi-
ble.The work of each artist in this
show gleams; resonating on both
aesthetic and emotional levels, but
it is those interpretations by
Ashraph, Jade Drakes and Jasmine
Thomas-Girvan that shine the
strongest light---if only because
they far exceed expectations of
twinkling jewels and they more
forcefully give illumination to a
social context where politicians
are branded with fraud, where a
prominent lawyer can be gunned
down in the street and where
mothers and babies die in routine
The works of these artists, in
particular, signal that the energy
of imagining change into existence
resides within us.
lights up Y Gallery
Different light waves on exhibit
Ring---Wattage by Jade Drakes.
Ring by Ashraph. PHOTO COURTESY MICHELE JORSLING
Fruit by Jasmine Thomas-Girvan.
PHOTOS COURTESY Y ART GALLERY
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