Southern Charms was the developmental phase of the exhibition that has become Joyaviva. To see how this has developed, go here: www.joyaviva.net.
In modern times, jewellery is associated with fashion and individual taste. Over past decades, we have witnessed significant developments in innovative design and expression of jewellery as an art form.
But jewellery brings also a rich social legacy. Traditionally, jewellery has been a powerful source of protection. Ornaments have been used to claim friendship, bring good fortune and ward off evil.
To many of us today, charms, amulets and talismans are anachronisms. They belong to a superstitious past, before we rationally took responsibility for our own fate. Modernity teaches us to take individual responsibility for our actions.
But in the 21st century, we have seen a change of tack. In what is sometimes characterised as our ‘network age’, we are much more aware of the ways our fates are interlinked. Our era is defined by social networking platforms such as Facebook, which thrive on messages of encouragement and tokens of affection.
While we know to trust in scientific rationality when confronting our own fears, we are aware that a sign of encouragement to others can make a significant difference. After all, isn’t one of the greatest fears that of being abandoned by others.
The goals of Southern Charms are:
- to explore a contemporary context for the practice of ‘power jewellery’
- to develop objects that can respond to shared hopes and fears
- to create a platform where there is cultural dialogue through jewellery across the Pacific , from west to east, Australasia to Latin America
- to consider the role of chance in an increasingly managed world
- to respond to the challenge of Facebook by celebrating the quality rather than quantity of friendships
Key to Southern Charms is the developmental process. In participating countries, there will be a series of ‘charm schools’. These workshops will engage local communities, including jewellers, to consider the particular hopes and fears of their place. From these workshops ideas will emerge that form the basis of works for the exhibition. The exhibition itself will consist of the following:
- contemporary charms, produced in countries across the Pacific for this exhibition
- documentation of their effects, including diaries, photos, video and websites
- a Charm Shop for visitors to purchase objects for themselves and others
- the Cabinet of Power, including vintage jewellery such as charm bracelets, milagros and medals
Schedule for Charm Schools and their specialisation includes:
- Valparaiso, Chile – earthquake (May 2010)
- Santiago, Chile – job interviews (May 2010)
- Sydney, Australia – the USB key (July 2010)
- Melbourne, Australia – asylum seekers (July 2010)
- Wellington, New Zealand (March 2011)
The exhibition is planned to open early 2012 and then tour, including venues in Victoria, New Zealand, Chile and Bolivia. For more information and expression of interest, please contact Kevin Murray on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow updates on Twitter at Luck by Design.