I was inspired to work with gold after a friend and I were driving through a beautiful, remote part of Swaziland, where we came across a new gold mine. I wondered why we’re prepared to ruin natural sites in order to mine gold. I wanted to know what value it adds to our lives.
A quick wikipedia search showed that the world’s consumption of new gold produced is about 40% in investments, 10% in industry, and the remaining 50% in jewellery. I found that staggering. 50% of all gold mining - all the ravaged natural sites, contaminated water supplies, and harm done to vital ecosystems - can be attributed to personal adornment. Does the beauty of the natural world seem like a fair exchange for personal beauty? What is so alluring about gold?
This lead me to returning the gold back to the land, and using it to beautify and monumentalise the man-made industrial waste we leave scattered all over as a result of industry. These are monuments to man’s self-destructive industrial progress.
The gold has a lively reflective quality. It shines almost white when reflecting sunlight, gold under lamp light, and sometimes totally recedes into the background.