PROGRAMMES /

Mountains to Mosque and Other Details | An exhibition by Masooma Syed

Jewelry as a form of body adornment is one of the most intimate of art forms. Like textiles it has a direct relationship to the physical body;  its weight, texture and size is a constant reminder of its presence. The motion of jewelry on the moving body creates a subtle tactile experience. The human figure is the site for the jewelry to sit serving as a compositional device in the layout of the human form.

In the traditional and historical realm of all societies and cultures, the function and significance of jewerly has been defined as: attachment to the body, personal decoration, displaying socially meaningful codes, serving as portable and redeemable wealth and mediation with the spiritual and emotional. Undoubtedly it has ability to touch people as a coded, portable, ornament, accessible by sensation.

But Jewelry as an art form is a strong vehicle of bodily expression. It has a role as conveyer of the personal, social cultural and conceptual, stripped of familiar codes, traditional materials and meaning; here Jewelry goes beyond the idea of commodity and utility value. As a body centered ornament it carries a strong message, challenging the conventions of the body, adornment, embellishment, aesthetics, rituals and its function.

My practice of jewelry making falls in the category of sculpture, where I’m trying to push its boundaries and limits both in form and content. It is said that ‘eliminating the human aspect diminishes the gravity,’ I believe that my practice responds to this particular sensibility, where the commonly understood craft of utility can be investigated and liberated from its stereotype. There is a certain amount of depth and love for small scale production in my practice, for the close inspection of detail, precision and workmanship, but beyond that there is also a strong interest in combining traditional with the non-traditional concepts and methodologies, precious with non precious materials and playing with scale, size and mediums.

For me objects worn on the body have great potential to speak about human connectedness, altering the meaning of adornment, the precious and the powerful, permanence and the ephemeral and romance and rebellion.

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