© 2019 by Olivia Dryden

About Me

My style of jewellery is very unique and I like to describe it by a ‘modern take on taxidermy jewellery’. I use mainly sterling silver and I recycle pre-deceased animals and birds for their bones. I believe that as artists, we are fortunate to see the beauty in objects most people do not.

When designing my pieces, the idea that my jewellery could appeal to people who would normally be shocked by the ideas portrayed inspires me. My intention is to create surprising and lasting objects from the death of these creatures.

My curiosity with death arose when I started researching the Victorian Memento Mori period from the 15th to 18th century. I admired the symbolism they used to depict death, like the skull-and-crossbones and the hourglass. I was especially interested in the jewellery that was made using the deceased’s hair, and the post-mortem photography. I loved how such a taboo subject, death, could be shown in such a beautiful way.

Since graduating 2 years ago, my professional development has advanced more than I could have already imagined. Just from small connections and opportunities in Adelaide I have already had my first solo exhibition ‘Life After Death’ at Hill Smith Gallery.

 

In June this year, I have my 2nd Solo exhibition with them based around the Wunderkammer (Cabinet of Curiosity).

 

From recent travels to India, I was fortunate enough twice to have 6-7 weeks away from my busy life. I was thrown into a country rich in culture, colour, religion and traditions and this has had an immense impact on my art practice. I became inspired by the traditional gold statement piece jewellery that is covered in colourful gemstones by the intricate craftsmanship of the jeweller. I had the opportunity to learn new and exciting techniques by experienced artisans, which definitely widened my skill sets.

 

All of the amazing experiences I had not only helped me grow as an artist but also as a person. 

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