Jewellery with a message
The human body has been one of the central art themes of the 1990’s; in particular the troubled body.
Jewellery’s normal function is to beautify, conventionally within defined zones, such as neck, ear, arm or finger.
Not so with Louise Nippierd’s work. You are first struck by the unusual choice of material: anodized aluminum. Then you become aware of the ambiguities presented by the relationship between jewellery and body. Clearly several chords are being played simultaneously. The pieces can be seen as splendid decorations, which by virtue of their forni and size, are bordering on costume. But they are also conveyors of a deeply serious message.
As the exhibition’s title “Cross” reflects, they lie at the crossroads between costume, art and communication.
How then should we interpret Louise Nippierd’s work?
The manner in which the various pieces are worn says a great deal. One piece covers both head and body like armor, whilst another directs attention towards the mouth, and a third to stomach and lower abdomen.
When emotions become food, the body is punished. There are all too many victims of eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. The theme of these works is directly related to just such negative body fixations.
The works in their visual expressions and metaphors, create an alternative language to that used by psychiatry and mass media when describing the same phenomena.
But they offer some comfort too: the arm- and fingerings symbolize both protection and camouflage.
Louise Nippierd has created a highly original and personal exhibition. Without lapsing into cliche, she has shown that jewellery can he used as a descriptive medium on an equal level with other forms of artistic expression.