Recent social, political and environmental events have re-shaped how we live and interact with people. Transcend is a new time-based photography and art jewellery project focusing on nature's beauty as a counterbalance to adverse global events: it is a collection that invites quiet repose, presented through a contemporary craft lens.

With the 2020 bushfires, pandemic, social and political unrest in mind, Transcend responds to the difficult times we find ourselves. By bringing nature and beauty back into focus, this project asks, "In times of hardship, what are the things that are important to focus on? What comforts us in challenging times? How can the creation of contemporary art and craft help facilitate personal and cultural recovery and resilience?"

Artists constant questioning, exploration and raising of societal, environmental and political issues, along with their generosity of spirit, help make the world a better place. Art raises awareness, marks time, questions and reflects our values. Art connects communities, shapes culture and fosters wellbeing.
Creativity is vital: it is irreplaceable and one of the most critical aspects of our culture and humanity. How we emerge and respond to the pandemic and other environmental and social challenges, will help define who we are as a community in the coming years.
One response toward recovery is to return to familiar practices as a way to rebuild and reimagine. For me, it is seeking comfort in the process, repetition and searching for beauty in every day where disarming artistry can emerge while crafting something from nothing. To make new forms from the imagination that transcend their original state, creating new and thoughtful objects that reflect time and place. 

TRANSCEND will include a collection of new handmade neckpieces and sculptures, presented alongside digital photographs and a book conceived in the 2020 pandemic and Melbourne lockdown and started in January 2021. I will hang collections of contemporary art jewellery on walls in an apartment space — on shelves and from fixtures, possibly also shown inside custom-made frames.

Sterling silver, enamel, 18ct gold, rubber, sublimated aluminium, perspex.

*These thoughts and research are a work in progress and will evolve over the next 12 months.

"To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings. We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in." - Oliver Sacks, 'Altered States', New Yorker, 2012



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I respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which I create and exhibit art. I pay my respects to Elders past and present, as well as to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the wider Melbourne community and beyond. Indigenous sovereignty has never been ceded. I acknowledge that I work and live on country on which Members and Elders of The Wurundjeri people and their forebears have been custodians for many centuries and on which Aboriginal People have performed age-old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal. I acknowledge their living culture and their unique role in the life of this region.

© 2020 Sim Luttin,

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