Down to Earth

When artist Yvonne de Wit came to South Africa from her native Netherlands, it was with an open mind and with what became a growing fascination in the different types of rock and soils that the southern part of this great and diverse continent had to offer.

Through experimentation, she discovered that grinding diverse stones and pieces of rock found in different locations, offered up extraordinary colours, unusual ‘dusts’ that, when framed in silver, produced jewellery that reflected the land in a very different way.

Ideally, one needs to handle each piece of her collections to see, understand and appreciate the skill with which she works. Consider her chandelier earrings, for example. The artist explains that she picked up stones, ground them finely and then felt they would work as three ‘pendants’ from the ear. But they needed to balance. If one looks at the final pieces, one will see how delicately, intricately and exquisitely each hangs, individually, from a tiny common point. They are not soldered together; each of the three pendants somehow hangs perfectly in place. And in harmony with its opposite piece on the other ear.

For the artist, this says something about nature, and our place in it. How, ideally, our relationship with soil, air and water should be in perfect balance. How delicate that relationship is. And what surprises the dust of the earth harbours for us, despite our many preconceptions. Like the astronaut who expected shades of grey on the moon — and found orange.

Her work is available at Studio98 along the main road in Napier, South Africa. OPEN BY APPOINTMENT and during widely announced OPEN WEEKENDS. For contact details: http://studioon98.art

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