Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 5 credits / 7,5 HE credits
I have chosen to use the forum of jewellery, particularly lockets, to investigate the notion of a public and a private self as a main theme. In this text I will bring up different aspects of the locket to show which tools I have to work with, and then I will research the actual theme from a sociopsychological point of view.
Jewellery can be used as a manifestation of a public self and it can be a connection to a private self. The jewellery holds the possibility to tell its story when worn and the person wearing it might fill it with his/her own emotional value that might and might not be in correlation with the artists’ intent.
The way lockets are and have been used is influencing the way we look at them; it charges them with symbolical meaning. The locket becomes a representation of a private, intimate part of the person wearing it. The locket has an outside and an inside, a public and a private part. When worn, it communicates to both the wearer and his/her surroundings. The action of opening a locket and of wearing a locket are deliberate acts that revolve around both the transgression between public and private and the secrecy of its content. These different aspects of the locket are tools that I can use in my work.
The creation of an outer, public-, self works as a tool to help us interact with each other. It simplifies communication, places us in an understandable setting (society) and might also help us improve our influence on our social status. In some situations this public self can give rise to a feeling of alienation and discomfort. The risk is that we identify ourselves with a one-dimensional image of ourselves. Or that we experience a too big gap between our public and private self. The representational self can also become an integrated part of our identity. In that sense we create ourselves. As the borders between our private and public sphere become more blurry, it might be hard to keep the balance between the public and the private self. The increased availability for social interaction sometimes restrains the private self and this stresses the need for determining and keeping a private sphere for oneself. I believe that the feeling of an outer and an inner self often is based in an ambivalence towards a social situation. That I pay attention to a framework that both attracts and repulses me. It is in those situations that our split self becomes apparent, and can be felt, but also questioned. I create my own public self. But there has to be a balance between our public and private self, and that stresses the need of setting up personal borders, not only for a bigger social benefit, but also to be able to cope with, to interpret and process everyday-life.
I believe that the urge of addressing the personal, and bringing up different aspects of identity within jewellery art, springs from the preconception of jewellery as no more than an embellishment. That is also why it becomes interesting. From my part I see an excitement in the contradiction of using what might be considered a fashion attribute to problematize, make aware of an awkward attitude towards the presentation of the self. To use the physical aspects of the locket to talk about a mental state, and an emotional reaction to a social situation. Because that is what the imbalance of a public and a private self does with me: it evokes an emotional reaction to the social situation I find myself in.
2014. , 20 p.