JUNK: rubbish to gold film

Published: 29.07.2018
Jivan Astfalck
Laura Bradshaw-Heap
Rachel Darbourne
Edited by:
Birmingham City University
Edited at:
Edited on:
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JUNK: rubbish to gold is a playful exploration of community economies (exchange, giving, bartering, gathering, earning, harvesting); putting on display the process of creating the work of art. We partnered with charities, who supplied JUNK jewellery. During a public performance, 31 jewellers gifted their skills, (re)constructing pieces selected from a mountain of JUNK creating reimagined artworks for the exhibition and auction. The performance was live-streamed on screens in the mac Birmingham and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and across the world.

Co-created and co-curated by Jivan Astfalck, Laura Bradshaw-Heap and Rachel Darbourne. The first edition of JUNK: rubbish to gold took place over 2015 in the UK and finished in a live performance, exhibition and auction at the School of Jewellery, Birmingham.

Reusing is often perceived as the up-cycling of one object to another, from unwanted to desired, consumer leftovers turned into new desirable luxury consumables to buy. This reuse is the cornerstone of jewellery as a discipline, with materials shifting form to adapt to the newest fashion and trend. Yet the reimagining of one object into another is infinitely more complex than it is often portrayed. By putting on display the entire process of creating the work-of-art within this project; from material purchase and collection, through selection and (re)construction during the performance, then exhibition and auction, we playfully explored ideas of exchange, bartering, gathering, earning and giving, while shifting the focus from finished object to the processes and social interactions that create of the work-of-artJUNK: rubbish to gold aims to foster and develop multilayered networks, challenging and extending jewellery as a discipline, expanding the art jewellery audience and deepening our understanding of the impact of the arts.

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