Jewellery and Objects
Serial of jewellery 'Bridalflowers' and 'Erbstücke: Siegelringe'
Bows, Faded Flowers, Skulls
How can jewellery express 'eternal' themes like transience, personal relationships and family clans? Monika Strasser trained as a goldsmith in Zürich. While in New York in 2008, she combed the garment district for appliqués. She found glass beads, sequins and rhinestones. These she cut up and reassembled without using any conventional goldsmithing tools. She then made wax negatives and cast the pieces. Through this process the cheap source material was transformed into something permanent and valuable. She called the outcome – eight mysterious black objects – Bridal Flowers. Back in Switzerland, Strasser returned to traditional goldsmithing techniques to create counterparts or companion pieces to the objects made in New York. Her brooches and necklaces make ostensibly archaic shapes look gracefully elegant. Made of white gold or silver and sometimes blackened, they form pairs with the original object and are eloquently titled Garten Eden, Dark Side of the Honeymoon and Bis dass der Tod uns scheidet (Till Death Do Us Part). At first sight, the works look lighthearted and playful, offering seductive surfaces, but on close inspection they may well take a different turn: for instance on discovering that the cutouts in one of her objects are the hollow eyes and mouth of a skull. Transience is a crucial concern for Monika Strasser.