Drawing Jewellery Poetry.
With an essay by Julie Ewington
Margaret West (1936-2014) is renowned as one of Australia’s finest contemporary jewellers. Her restrained yet passionate works in stainless steel, stone and marble are thoughtfully conceived and impeccably crafted. Her jewellery practice was sustained by her poetry which she wrote for over thirty years, and also by her constant drawing and note taking. West continually observed the natural world – she was always looking, drawing and taking notes, her drawing was practiced in productive dialogue with making, her drawing was also a way of thinking. Whether of flowers in her Blackheath garden, or cold seas off the coast of Norway, her drawings were made to explore what was around her, to contemplate its beauty but also its gravity. West looked unflinchingly at humanity and our propensity for injustice as the vibrant scarlet drawings for Fatal Flowers reveal.
This 40 page book, illustrated with some of West’s drawings and jewellery, and including a selection of her poems, is being published on the occasion of the first solo exhibition of West’s work since her death. It brings together for the first time the principal interweaved practices that constituted her mature life as an artist – drawing, making jewellery and objects, and writing, especially poetry.