‘Solaris’ is the second series of the collection ‘The Man Who Knows Everything’. The story began for me many years ago when I first read about the infamous Comte de St Germain. I became mildly obsessed and was just waiting for the right time to include him in my work.
The Comte was a man of unknown origins and unknown end. His death was reported countless times, yet always he would reappear, in another place and another time. He was impeccably dressed, understated apart from the vivid jewels that he wore on his hands, in his shoe buckles and carried with him in his travelling case. Voltaire described him as ‘the man who knows everything and never dies’. The lover of princesses and muse to the likes of Pushkin and Voltaire, you can understand how I was hooked.
‘Solaris’ is a collection that draws on alchemy, magick and the Enlightenment period – I wanted to create a dark, beautifully lunar world that my muse could inhabit, a world with no boundaries of place or time.
My research, aside from reading endlessly about the Comte wherever I could, focussed on the alchemical contraptions designed during the period of Enlightenment, the work of photographers Bernd & Hilla Becher and the graphic art of the legendary Cassandre. I also immersed myself in the writings of Aleister Crowley, the films of Kenneth Anger, the work of Derek Jarman and the Russian Constructivists.
The idea of an eternal ‘orbit’ grew in my mind from the research I was doing. I wanted a shape that was endless, but full of vitality. The ‘orbiting’ form features strongly throughout this collection and here is perhaps in its purest form - one sculptural line of metal flows around and through the shirt cuff, morphing in size and shape as it goes.
I have a strong belief that jewellery should look as beautiful and fascinating off the body as it does on. These cufflinks are testament to that belief. Taken out of the shirt they become miniature sculptures in their own right – balancing, as if by magic, on their voluptuous curves.