When I was contacted by The Houses of Parliament to write a proposal to create a collection of jewellery to accompany the launch of Mary Branson’s ‘New Dawn’ art installation celebrating women’s suffrage I was both intrigued and excited. It seemed like an excellent challenge to create an important reminder of the exhibition that the visitors could take away with them. Pieces of contemporary jewellery that were timeless, like the artwork itself, that visitors could continue to wear for years to come.
'New Dawn' Pin 'New Dawn' by Mary Branson 'New Dawn' Pins
The first step was to go and visit Mary Branson with her artwork in a warehouse in North London. I was really impressed by the ‘New Dawn’ artwork and it's concept celebrating the many brave women who campaigned for the vote.
'New Dawn' installed in The Houses of parliament
The Parliamentary Scrolls in Victoria Tower at Westminster
My brief was to create a collection of jewellery that was connected to and echoed the essence of the artwork but that was also contemporary, wearable, and attractive but also saleable. It had to look like it was an extension of the artwork. Not exactly mimic it but to be something that the visitor could take away with them to remind them of the art installation. Pieces of jewellery that had longevity.
Close up of the Parliamentary Scrolls - Inspiration for my drawings
Some of the imagery that had inspired the shape and form of 'New Dawn' were the Parliamentary scrolls and I decided to use this as my starting point also.
The many circular glass disks that make up 'New Dawn' are vibrantly coloured when lit. Circles are a very pleasing shape and are used extensively in jewellery they are simple yet effective and in the case of the Parliamentary scrolls and 'New Dawn' hold great meaning.
The materials I use in my jewellery making are versatile. The aluminium I use could be dyed in the specified colours of the suffrage organisations banners and the polished surface mimics the light shining through the glass disks of 'New Dawn'. Aluminium is also incredibly light and perfect for making the multiple double sided disks that feature in the jewellery collection.
Read the next blog to see how I designed and made the jewellery collection.
For more information about Mary Branson's installation have a look at The Houses of Parliament website www.parliament.uk
To purchase 'New Dawn' jewellery collection please see www.parliament.uk
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- Tags: Art, Houses of Parliament, Jewellery, New Dawn, Sally Lees, Suffrage, Women and the vote