Mah Rana

Jewellery is Life

7 September - 20 October 2002

Jeweller Mah Rana uses precious and ‘throw away’ materials to create unconventional items of jewellery, often based around folklore and fairy tales. For Jewellery is Life, Mah Rana has created a series of ‘mourning’ brooches, birthstones and zodiac pieces, which examine the role of memory, history and experience in our lives. She has used precious materials and found objects to create unconventional items of jewellery based around stories, songs or fairytales. For this exhibition, various pieces of jewellery were presented as symbolic milestones for a journey through life from birth to death, each religiously protected under glass in a semi-circle of cases. These miniature sculptures explored our relationship with jewellery in our daily lives and to mark significant events such as births, weddings, anniversaries and bereavements – a poignant reminder of the rituals associated with Fabrica’s previous use as a church.

“My work for Jewellery is Life has been developed out of my interest in how we use jewellery to mark significant and everyday incidents in our lives. Through jewellery, issues of value, communication, personal and collective histories are explored. The work reflects the importance of owning, giving and wearing jewellery throughout our lives. Each piece is presented in its own plinth, painted red ochre. These are arranged from wall to wall in the form of a circular fragment to give the illusion that the circle carries on beyond the gallery walls, as jewellery itself continues outside within our lives.”  Mah Rana, artist