RUBY TAGLIGHT LDN’S PIECES
DISCUSS THE ROLE OF THE ORNAMENT
Ruby creates one of a kind, sculptural pieces exploring the importance of adornment. Drawing on themes such as myth, history, and religion, the jewellery plays with combining traditional materials and forms, with those less conventional, such as synthetic gemstones and figurines, celebrating the over-feminine, over-embellished, and the kitsch.
Ruby Taglight LDN’s pieces discuss the role of the ornament. Traditionally in design, over- ornamentation was criticised for distracting from functionality. Non-realistic, highly-adorned styles such as that of the Rococo were denounced as ‘too feminine’ compared to the ‘masculine’ practicality of classicism. In an ever-increasingly technological world, we as humans value progress in terms of the machine, and as a result are developing technology that is rendering us less productive by definition; we are becoming the ornament.
Ruby trained as a fine artist at the Glasgow School of Art, creating life-sized, heavily embellished sculptures. It was during this making process she discovered a deep connection with adornment, and subsequently moved to New York to earn a Graduate Gemologist Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America.
“THESE ARE INTERACTIVE PIECES, WHERE FASTENING IS A SMALL DAILY RITUAL; THEY ARE MODERN CEREMONIAL INTERPRETATIONS”
Birds have a strong mythical link, they are transient, moving across the world throughout the year.
Ancient rituals, particularly in Umbria, used birds as a means to interpret whether the Gods approved of certain plans. Auguraculums were roofless temples where the flight of birds would be observed, in a practice called ornithomancy. Areas were marked in the sky from the temples to other holy spots, and the direction and height of the bird flight would be deciphered to see God’s will.
This selective collection of limited edition pieces is an embodiment of Ruby Taglight’s research. Consisting of dead birds clutching gemstones, hanging upside down, or falling, these pieces are miniature relics. These are interactive pieces, where fastening is a small daily ritual; they are modern ceremonial interpretations.
The act of turning a bird on its head, or cementing it to a ring, inversely illustrates the beauty of fluid movement. Birds clasp recycled rubies in their claws, and are pinned upside down to the fabric, frozen as a pedestal holding up the gemstone.
Birds are cut in half for the earrings. The wearer must physically pull the head from the body and reposition it through their ear; the ear then takes the role of the holy space. The birds have gemstone eyes consisting of emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and black and white diamonds, giving each animal a magical detail.
Heavy, angled rings reflect the shapes of temples, mirroring the immensity experienced in places of worship. A silver platform is created for silver and gold birds to throw themselves on, around, or under. The contrast of the blocky surface and the delicate birds is enhanced by a differing in matt and shiny surfaces.
Each piece has been carved by hand, cast in recycled metal, and signed with a lab-grown ruby.