2019, wooden beads, wooden dowel, nylon thread, largest beads 3cm wide x hanging length 39cm.
These ebullient, smart necklaces are in a direct lineage from Manon's earlier 2006 Heartbeads works, where she cut and reconfigured existing wooden beads in order to reveal their 'other' characters, with dye bleeding through to the wood, and the revelation of the inside surface. Here, they develop a language of constructivism and play, both familiar and surprising.
Manon van Kouswijk is a Dutch artist and contemporary jeweller who lives and works in Melbourne. Manon likes to think that it’s possible to reinvent jewellery, despite the fact that its archetypal forms and motifs haven’t fundamentally changed throughout its long history. She views these archetypes as templates that she uses for her translations of the jewellery types she works from (for example the beaded necklace). The traces of the making process are often visible in Manon’s work. The imperfection of the handmade, present in marks of fingerprints and moulds, is an integral part of the objects. While originating from a conceptual approach to making at the same time her works embrace the sensual qualities of jewellery objects in the use of colour, their weight, sound, rhythm and material expression.