I’ve become obsessed with jewellery recently – which is getting to be a bit of a problem really. I have quite specific rules about jewellery – it’s a tricky area for men for a start. Too many rings and you look like a darts player, earrings are generally a no-no, bracelets are ok but you have to be relatively sedate, necklaces are fine but if you look specifically at necklaces for men there isn’t much to choose from in between crucifixes and dog tags. I could argue that most jewellery is largely unisex but it’s still seen as a bit of statement on a man, whereas it’s considered commonplace on a woman.
The other problem is cost – jewellery isn’t cheap, not the jewellery I like anyway. To make matters worse I really feel like jewellery should be given to you. If you have to buy it yourself, then you’re doing something wrong. A gift of clothing is nice (don’t get me wrong here) but a great piece of jewellery could be worn forever, an extension of the body – if you think about that, it’s quite a commitment. I also think there should be some meaning behind the jewellery, a story, some history, ideally a totemic quality that charges the piece with a personal value beyond the actual cost. So you can see my quandary. So here I am not only searching for the perfect piece of jewellery but also hilariously assuming that once I find it someone will want to buy it for me.
I came across Completed Works through a friend’s tweet, I casually clicked on a link and then suddenly it seemed like hours had passed with me staring slack-jawed at the pieces. One necklace in particular stood out, as I looked it over it seemed familiar – a broken pillar delicately fastened together – suspended forever somewhere between solidity and destruction. There was a melancholic poetry to it, when I realised that it reminded me of Frida Kahlo’s The Broken Column I got a bit of a chill. I’ve always loved Kahlo’s work – sometimes surreal, occasionally brutally and visceral but always deeply personal. It’s hard not to feel moved by work that so unashamedly portrays the artist in such an unflinchingly honest and sometimes confrontational way. I don’t know what inspired the collection, it may well have been Kahlo; but it seems besides the point as the jewellery has perfectly captured the same vulnerability and poignancy that makes Kahlo’s work so resonant.