With this collection of pieces, I investigate how my idiosyncratic interpretations of the ecological landscapes of South Africa, can be translated into contemporary jewellery objects. The alternative use of terrarium building practices enables me as a creator to study these ecological landscapes, to create wearable embodiments that externalize my experience of belonging and the experience of living within the South African landscape, specifically that of Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and George as these are the Geographic locations where I have spent most of my life.
Ecological landscapes are essentially interconnected networks of organisms and ever-changing ecological systems. The resilience of these complex landscapes is based on the co-existence and relations between all living organisms and their environment, all existing on different spatial scales within a larger landscape. As a landscape evolves, it speaks not only about its natural origins and the conditions of a given landscape but presents a cultural overlay, that reflects on the synthesis between people and the physical spaces they inhabit. This synthesis plays a crucial role in the creation of identity, as the characteristics of the landscape serve as dynamic ‘backdrops’ to the lives of those who inhabit it. By creating jewellery objects that are meant to be placed on the body, I hope to emphasize the importance of the interdependent relationship between humans and our natural environments. With the creation of ‘representational terrariums’, I want to reflect on what it means to artificially recreate a ‘natural ecological system’. I will, however, focus more on the terrarium’s ability to describe the materiality of large-scale environmental systems in a simplified and more comprehensible way
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