Julie Gautier requested me to create some “suitable ballast to favour her dynamic movements in water.”
The ballast also had to be the same as the one expressed in Zazie‘s song Nos ames sont.
It was a precise and precious request.
Ballast (lead) is the weight that helps us get under the surface of water (and things) to experience depth. These are the ‘ballast’ jewels I designed
Through this experience I realised that chemical elements contain the Spirit.
In addition to lead (a heavy metal), I worked with silver (a noble metal) to produce some bangles. I moulded and oxidised them; I carved marks that are reminiscent of boundary nets, those commonly used to fence off, close and bound.
I had to contaminate what is pure, and darken what is bright to tell about the human will to experience the realms of darkness to the full. I inserted the image of the Labyrinth at Knossos, whose mythos well explains the human condition and the cosmos evoked by Zazie’s song.
The Labyrinth recalls its builder Daedalus; Icarus his son, who wants to escape from the Labyrinth; Minotaur, the monstrous creature born of perverted love; Theseus, the hero who kills the monster; Ariadne, the king’s daughter who threads her way to safety with her lover.
Zazie and Julie turn up the volume of the Song with silence (gesture drowned in water) to suggest what we can do to achieve salvation.
I want to save myself with them and those like them.
The Earth and the Sky are wonderful, inexhaustible resources. Our nature hangs by a thread.
We, contemporary human beings, builders and multipliers of the Labyrinth boundary, have added Contamination to it.
To emphasise this, I added mercury (a liquid, toxic heavy metal). It flows over the perimeter of the Labyrinth, the fortress place, and now all the Earth risks turning into a contaminated Labyrinth.
Zazie envisages possible salvation by fishing out her purified, pure soul from within the depths of her self. I worked hard to highlight this – designing bangles in which silver becomes shiny and golden. Although traces of nets linger in them, they are only bright memories.
The two treatments used to obtain both the oxidised and the shiny silver symbolise metamorphosis, the turning of darkness into light.
Catharsis is possible.
Everything within us strives for light.