Jewellery is Life

Mah Rana

Archive Exhibitions (7 September to 20 October 2002)
Jeweller Mah Rana uses precious and ‘throw away’ materials to create unconventional items of jewellery, often based around folklore and fairy tales.
For Jewellery is Life, Mah Rana has created a series of ‘mourning’ brooches, birthstones and zodiac pieces, which examine the role of memory, history and experience in our lives. She has used precious materials and found objects to create unconventional items of jewellery based around stories, songs or fairytales.

For this exhibition, various pieces of jewellery were presented as symbolic milestones for a journey through life from birth to death, each religiously protected under glass in a semi-circle of cases. These miniature sculptures explored our relationship with jewellery in our daily lives and to mark significant events such as births, weddings, anniversaries and bereavements – a poignant reminder of the rituals associated with Fabrica’s previous use as a church.

“My work for Jewellery is Life has been developed out of my interest in how we use jewellery to mark significant and everyday incidents in our lives. Through jewellery, issues of value, communication, personal and collective histories are explored. The work reflects the importance of owning, giving and wearing jewellery throughout our lives. Each piece is presented in its own plinth, painted red ochre. These are arranged from wall to wall in the form of a circular fragment to give the illusion that the circle carries on beyond the gallery walls, as jewellery itself continues outside within our lives.” Mah Rana, artist

About The Artist

Mah Rana is an artist and curator who lives and works in London. Human relationships, memory recall and loss, narratives and material and experiential processes are central to her practice.

Rana is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the programme director and curator for Tandemize, an international experiential learning and teaching progamme of events funded through the British Council. Solo exhibitions include Blå Stållet Cultural Centre, Sweden (2014); National Craft Gallery of Ireland, Kilkenny (2014) and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (2006).

Her work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions, including Acts of Making – Craft as Performance, a Crafts Council touring exhibition which toured to Bilston Crafts Gallery and Shipley Art Gallery (2015); Tallinn Applied Arts Triennial at the The Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (2012); Unexpected Pleasures: the art and design of contemporary jewellery, Design Museum, London and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2012); Tell Tales, Textile Museum, Barcelona (2007); Hnoss 10 at Röhss Museum, Gothenburg (2007); Jerwood Applied Arts Prize for Jewellery, Jerwood Space, London (2007).

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