Back

Contemporary jewellery for me is a method of social commentary. Interview with Sarra Tzijan by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 10.06.2022
Sarra Tzijan. Photo: Sia Duff. Sarra Tzijan. Photo: Sia Duff.
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2022
Sarra Tzijan. Vessel: Village Vessel no.11, 2021. Bronze, glass. 13.5 x 24 x 13 cm. Photo by: Grant Hancock. From series: Village Vessels. Sarra Tzijan
Vessel: Village Vessel no.11, 2021
Bronze, glass
13.5 x 24 x 13 cm
Photo by: Grant Hancock
From series: Village Vessels
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
The defining words around artistic practice seem to be softening and I think that’s great. Hard terms like ‘jeweller’ ‘designer’ and ‘sculptor’ have always been problematic for me as I work collaboratively with various materials.

Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewellery?
My first artistic influences were my parents - they were both creative in the way they lived, ate, dressed, and parented. What I remember as a child are mum's large, colourful abstract paintings on the walls and dad's incredibly realistic portraits scribbled all over envelopes. I came to art naturally but didn’t consider jewellery until much later in life, after a trip to India in my mid 20’s. It was the ceremonial and spiritual aspects of adornment that I was initially interested in. When I came back from that India trip I enrolled in an Advanced Diploma of Objects and Jewellery Design, and I began combining my previous experience in drawing and illustration with three-dimensional objects.
Contemporary jewellery for me is a method of social commentary. Making objects, whether wearable, functional or sculptural, helps me make sense of the world and my place in it.


How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
Networking can be fun, and funny. I generally enjoy talking to people but formal networking can be uncomfortable and stressful. I always prefer face-to-face. I find it harder to be authentic online. I also find it harder to remember information online - engaging and concentrating on a screen rather than a face can be really draining for me. Networking casually, as part of social activities is the best! Exhibition openings, coffee dates, and lunches make the experience a whole lot more authentic and comfortable.


What are your general thoughts on the contemporary jewellery world, (education, market, development...), where do you see chances and where are dead ends?
I feel the current state of education in jewellery and metalwork is concerning. Government support has been really lacking and I worry about the continuation of traditional hand skills. There are not many places in Australia where you can formally learn and that makes me sad sometimes.

The defining words around artistic practice seem to be softening and I think that’s great. Hard terms like ‘jeweller’ ‘designer’ and ‘sculptor’ have always been problematic for me as I work collaboratively with various materials. The recent shift for one's practice to be more fluid and open feels much more comfortable and accepting. I am moving further away from being branded (which stemmed from my background in design) - I reject the idea of the artist as a single prodigy and, on the contrary, invite and encourage influences from other people and make sure their involvement is shared and acknowledged.
I would like to see the relationships between countries grow and strengthen. Considering the many ways of communication it would be great if we could form closer ties to provide more international opportunities within the contemporary jewellery/metal industry - creating more peer exchange, residences, networking, collaboration, critical dialogue, and skill sharing.


Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication?
One thing I’ve (unexpectedly) embraced is the use of video in my work. I’ve been blessed with a brother who is an excellent video/film/digital talent! He has been documenting my work and telling my story through imagery and video for the last few years. Because my practice is process-driven, I’ve found it an excellent tool for connecting to my audience. It allows the public, particularly those unfamiliar with my work, to gain a deeper understanding of my practice and the varied, often labour-intensive processes involved.


How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
I’m excited about everything. It’s a problem. The last 2 years have brought me great clarity and focus (thanks to the initial disruption from Covid) - I’ve really developed the object side of my practice and I’m now understanding more about how the wearable and non-wearable work together and inform each other in my practice. I’m excited about going back to India to continue developing a long-term goal of working with Dhokra artists at Devrai Art Village to establish an ongoing reciprocal project together.
Right now I’m developing a new body of work that involves car dumps in the APY lands, conduit, neckwear, ceremony, and my family. And I’m super excited about that too.
 
Appreciate APPRECIATE