Settling dust

scan-1In the time between the Handshake show at Objectspace and ar Platina I also had a solo show at Avid Gallery in Wellington. This work – called ‘Accumulations of Plastic Matter’ – became the basis for the work I produced for Platina, and am currently developing further for the HS showcase at Munich in March. It has been an incredibly frenzied and overwhelming 6 months, and as a result my blog has been quiet.

I do, however, have pages and pages of scribbles and seemingly disparate plottings in my notebooks. Flicking back through some of the pages today, on a rainy Sunday where I have had a few failed attempts in the workshop, is an insight into how seemingly chaotic my mind can be (the image above is an example of more rational train of thought). The jump from imagination to realisation is a often tricky one, full of frustrations and surprises alike.

For Platina, I eventually produced around 30 brooches from my plastic dust (see previous post) in a very short space of time. Technically I found it actually quite challenging – the first step into colour using quite a limited palette (based on what material I was donated), and also the first time I have produced a body of work consisting solely of brooches. I worked in very simple geometric shapes (another first) and focused quite a lot on the texture and surface. The resulting works were quite simple in form and worked well as a group, but some perhaps not so well on their own. In the past I have often made much larger works, usually in the form of necklaces, and with this work I am yet again reminded that there is so much more to explore and experiment with.


Debbie Adamson, Accumulations brooches (cluster). Plastic, copper, stainless steel. 2016

Artist statement for the show:

Accumulations of plastic matter started in response to a questioning of materials and their lifespan, as well as a solution to a very real problem in the workshop. I have been using plastic for a couple of years now and, much like a traditional goldsmith would collect the filings of precious metals, found myself accumulating offcuts, dust and detritus leftover from various projects.

Concurrently I began to look at and think a bit more about the inherent consequences of the material I’ve been using – it’s production, degradation, and impact on the environment. As it ages, plastic breaks down into tiny particles, and though there is some debate around notions of the anthropocene, it seems to be widely accepted that plastic is somehow emblematic of the current consumer age – a shining example of success and shortcomings entangled in one.


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