Dr Marian Hosking




Monash University, Australia


Paper title

Impressions as a means of reproduction; for personal memories and cultural identity


I shall explore themes of shared identity and cultural memory in examples of artworks by Five  international contemporary jewellers; Suska Mackert, Bettina Speckner, Manon van Kouswijk, Laura Deakin and myself. I shall give particular emphasis to the cultural significance of jewellery and jewellery as a means of identifying and transmitting ideas from the personal to the public.
At the 2006 Jewellers conference On Location making stories: siting, citing, sighting at Sydney College of the Arts, Dutch writer and curator Leisbeth den Besten stated in her address

 ‘..a jewel is not only an ornament, a decoration – it prefers to be more. Like  ethnological tattooing and scarification, jewellery is also a symbol: a sign that can  communicate messages about social circumstances and identity.”

Jewellery can carry power, desire folly and longing, in varying degrees..
Prince William chose to give his mother Diana, the Princess of Wales’ ring to Kate Middleton when the couple announced their engagement in 2010. This is a very accessible example of the emotive layering that a piece of jewellery can contain and convey. It draws on the romance of William’s parent’s engagement and the popularity, memory and loss of Diana, at this moment in time in 2011.

There is an independent journey—the layering of meaning through ownership—of crafted objects which is particularly characteristic of jewellery. The intention of the maker is often overlaid with personal  and social  meaning and value acquired through the process of ownership and often gifting to a third or fourth person.

The very conventional engagement ring, a sapphire surrounded by diamonds is clearly prominent in photographs of Kate Middleton and William. Images appeared in many magazines when their engagement was announced and can now be found in multiples and look alike images across the internet.


Friday 30 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm







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