Review / Pagan’s jewellery contributes to ‘self’

craft / “Engram”, Craft ACT Craft & Design Centre, until June 30. Reviewed by MEREDITH HINCHLIFFE.

‘Site Specific’ by Sabine Pagan. Excerpt of photo by Grant Hancock.

SWISS-born jeweller Sabine Pagan draws on the principles of architecture in her jewellery and viewers can see the precision in her rings in this exhibition. The angles, the linear planes and the geometric forms are derived from the basic form of architecture.

The works in this exhibition include rings and objects.

I was intrigued with the juxtaposition of materials Pagan has used: delrin, a “highly-crystalline engineering thermoplastic”, with sterling silver and anodised aluminium, gold, monel, brass and sterling silver, concrete, and monel in the rings on exhibit. They create visual interest with different textures, colours and surfaces.

The human body is the link between jewellery and architecture: the former is a showcase for jewellery, while the latter shelters and houses it.

She has written that: “Together architecture and jewellery contribute to the ‘Self’ and its human characteristics such as emotions and our capacity for memory.”

Her jewellery reflects on how people’s emotions define their relation to the object, whether inhabited or worn.

“Catalogue Nos 16” and “17” are a departure in Pagan’s work, and one which appeals to me. Both are titled “Nocturne Series”, and the larger one includes the year in the title. The work consists of seven small discs in steel, monel, delrin, and brass tube, mounted on a board with stainless steel pins. The former – comprising three smaller discs – evoke a full moon reflected on a smooth ocean. There is mystery in, and on, the dark surface. These can be purchased as a group or separately.

Included in the exhibition are large-form photographs of the rings being worn – on hands young and old – and they look fine on both.

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