THE PLAYGROUND
Ten Top Graduates Test Their Talents

15th Nov - 27th Jan 2019

A Moment of Achievement – Medal in silver, copper, plastic, glass marbles

A Moment of Achievement – Medal in silver, copper, plastic, glass marbles

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AILSA MORRANT

As an artist, designer and maker my aim is to create things that enhance the way we live our lives, enabling us to be happier, more fulfilled and content. Which is a challenge as happiness has become an entity…a thing...a commodity.

If we feel we haven’t got it, perpetually achieve it, can’t somehow display it or be perceived as having it, then we are not perceived as successful human beings in today’s world.

Ironically, the pressure to achieve this aspirational societal and personal goal has become one of the key factors contributing to a growing epidemic of mental health illness, especially depression.
Yet happiness is an intangible, transient state of mind, often not even associated with sustained fulfilment and contentment.

As objects, psychologically, jewellery is a very appropriate and powerful medium to explore self-expression and happiness achieved through materiality rather than materialism. Our primordial, instinctive use of the objects we encounter in our everyday environment to reinforce and sustain our contentment is what probably prompted the first human being to simply pick up a shell with a hole in it, thread it with fibre and wear it.

It is the materiality of an object not its materialism that promotes mental health and resilience as it makes tangible to us our psychological and spiritual connection with ourself and others.

Through the lens of the field of enquiry that is jewellery, my work explores the concepts of happiness, value, materiality and capitalism, and their tension and relationships, whilst simultaneously proposing that how we discuss and re-evaluate how we make, use and wear our personal jewellery.

The personal jewellery we most often treasure and wear tends to be manufactured by a third party and references moments past, momento mori. Seldom today do we instinctively adorn ourselves with an object from our everyday environment to celebrate the moment vivere or carpe diem. We tend to focus on jewellery that commemorates big, status moments. Yet spontaneously wearing everyday objects for the expressive joy and personal satisfaction of doing so mindfully celebrates the moment we are in, while we are in it.

My work is about gentle, mindful activism and exploring what I can do to enable others to practice and celebrate their vital, everyday moments. I like catching and celebrating moments; the fleeting, instinctive, subconscious ones that are simple but vital everyday connections with ourselves and others. Those that are the gap between being and becoming. The bits that is so difficult to grasp because we rush past it and it is often over before we are even aware that it is happening. Vital moments. Both good and bad. Organs of society. Moments that make us think, muse and connect.

Biographical Details

THE PLAYGROUND - Ten Top Graduates Test Their Talents: Ailsa Morrant, Glasgow School of Art; Naia Conde, University of the Creative Arts, Rochester; Rebekah Wilson, Ulster University; Sandra Zinkute, Glasgow School of Art;
Sam Phelps
, Staffordshire University; Xiaoyu Guan, Central Saint Martins; Rebecca Gee, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design; Shona Dobie, Glasgow School of Art; Claire Mclean, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design; Rebecca Ridley, Nottingham Trent University.