1970's Jewellery


While a student in 1969 I made a costume from wire and tapes which spiralled around the body. The way in which the planes of the spiral defined the body and the space created around it established interests which have reoccurred in my work in various ways over the following years.

It was in 1977 however, when the scale of my work increased, that these ideas fully emerged in 3 large Jubilee neckpieces made for an exhibition at the V&A in London. I thought of these discs only in formal terms but their relationship to the form and function of great Elizabethan ruffs and ceremonial collars was often pointed out to me.

Later in the USA in 1978 I made the Cardboard Spirals which were surprisingly reminiscent of the costume of 1969. This time the spirals only related to the head and shoulders. They were never intended to be wearable objects but became the subject of a series of photographs made with David Ward.

They did however also generate a lot of ideas to do with the formal relationship of hats and collar forms to the body. The Curves made in New York soon after developed one of these directions, defining as they do a spiral line from the collar bone, around to the back of the neck and down to the breast bone.

During the same period David Ward and I worked together on another series of photographs in which the torso is the subject defined, this time by various patterns of projected light.

Extract from ‘The Recurring Theme’ Susanna Heron, Gem. Van Reekummuseum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands 1982

related works

more info

  • Jewellery History 1971-82
  • The Jewellery Project by David Ward 1983
  • Jewellery Bibliography
  • Jewellery Chronology