Silver Seams and Small Blocks
Marian Hosking’s practice focuses upon the embodiment of the personal meaning of place in intimate objects, with particular reference to place as landscape. Her work is characterised by an extraordinary depth of research into the history, languages and processes of jewellery and silversmithing: the domain of the intimate object. The potential for the miniature to act as a ‘souvenir’ or paradigm for such ideas has led to it becoming the primary mode employed by Hosking.
In these recent works, found souvenirs, toys and jewellery are appropriated and reiterated through a casting technique, whereby the repetition of a motif allows it to soften and shift, here, inflected by a sense of joy. The enamel ring series suggests the hand-coloured photographs of the early twentieth century, moments of colour adding warmth and indulgence to the mass-produced designs. These pieces of jewellery are playful: we smile at the remembered pleasures of a favourite keepsake or prized toy.
Whether sampling actual fragments of nature, or the forms of material culture derived from nature, Hosking’s work presents glimpses only: tantalisingly close (in terms of the direct casting process) and yet out of reach; somehow translated into a memory, akin to a photograph, or at best a shifting, transient moment – as here found in the glistening, gossamer-like translucency of her silver vessel work. This elusiveness found in Hosking’s work allows us a rare return to the original wonder of nature: recreating something of those formative experiences that are most often lost from conscious memory – such as our first encounter with snow, sight of blossom or glimpse of the ocean. Precious precisely because they are ineffable, these works remind us to cherish that of the natural world that we usually take for granted.