Reflecting upon the last two years, and the Handshake4 project. An invaluable unforgettable experience. Going into this I really had no idea what I was getting into except that it was a huge full-time commitment on my end. And boy was it just that. Would I recommend it? Would I do it again? At the end of the day yes and yes! If you are completely passionate about developing your ‘contemporary’ jewellery practice, willing to invest your time and money, and want to start your fight against the big scary bull that is the ‘contemporary art’ world then this is the best way to start your journey. It’s a never ending fight against yourself really, making the time for making, because it feels right and good, making your contemporary art practice a number one, two or third highest priority in your life. For me personally, my contemporary jewellery practice is something I do because I absolutely love it, I feel like its ingrained in me to create because if I don’t get the ideas out of my head, into something physical I would go crazy, not for selling work, not for the money or fame, not even to see others wearing my jewellery (which is not to say, seeing someone else wearing your work isn’t one of the most gratifying feelings!). It’s more of an education, for myself, and hopefully spreading knowledge and connecting to others by putting my work into a public space allowing myself to be put under the spot light. I also just want to have a face to face connection and conversation! Which is why artist talks, openings, social media, events, and public places are important.
In order to survive in this society, I must also commit myself to wage-slave full-time jobs to pay my rent and feed myself. Some people also have full-time families and family support systems as well (something I don’t have). I also passionately juggle other full-time art practices too. To juggle all these full-time commitments, on top of just existing as a human being; emotions, wading through toxic waste, flowing though grievances such as the death of the love of my life as well my own health/well-being was no easy task. To make it through this program with several bodies of work, knowledge, contacts, and memories, is nothing short of a grand medal of honour. I must applaud with a standing ovation to all of my other dear Handshake participants, for I know we all faced our different battles, and without you none our exhibitions, work, a zine!, would have never been made possible.
There is and always will be things I would have liked to have done differently or take more advantage of, like connecting more with my mentor, for instance, and definitely having the internet readily available, because there are constant endless emails to read and reply too, blog post writing commitments, and skype meetings. Sharing myself publicly, especially my art practice is really not something I find easy. But here we all are, to learn and grow from each other, through connecting and sharing knowledge. As long as you feel as though you are doing the very best you can do, then you really can’t beat yourself down. We all spend way too much time being negative instead of raising the vibrations to positivity and love. Of course no one is perfect. So PRACTICE. The two main things I take away from this experience is to ‘Fully trust your own intuition’ and ‘Don’t worry about anyone else’s opinions and/or judgements of you, for you cannot please everyone and no one really knows you like you know yourself.
I really would like to thank Peter and Hilda for taking a chance on me, believing in me, and giving me this opportunity. These two forces of power and beauty invest so much time and work unbelievably hard to keep this program rolling. Thanking Sharon Fitness for being the most fun bubbly positive influence, such an inspiration, and making me apply in the first place! To Beatrice Brovia for the time, the lucky instant connection, a truly beautiful human being inside and out, so full of knowledge and a complete passion for contemporary jewellery and art, for the simple thoughtful “hello” / “I think you would like this” emails, and the non-stop encouragement. I hope we can be friends always and I look forward to meeting you in person soon! Thank you to the few people that supported and encouraged me in anyway throughout these last two years… thank you from the bottom of my heart. And definitely thank you to all those people that were a hindrance on my journey as well, for without those lessons I would not be stronger.
The last thing I want to put forth is that if anyone ever wants a limited edition Handshake_4 Zine or simply to connect please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org