Cris Noguer.

Heritage, 2022

An inheritance is sometimes made up of pieces of jewellery carefully compiled over years with the symbolic meaning of eternity, love and loyalty, often kept in boxes for special occasions through generations. My family comes from a rural area, so not much gold or diamonds in our heritage, but in the 1980’s there was this general feeling of abundance, wealth and most of all a need for symbolic objects to show progress. 

For this project, I took the jewellery my father gave my mother as true symbols of capitalism. I melted everything down and tried to make something new, as an attempt to change the symbolic value of those materials. I planned to do something sophisticated, such as a new ring hiding the stones underneath, but it was also a way to reshape my relationship with my father.

The melting was easy, but the materials resisted the shaping process. No moulding or re-melting could get it into the shape I had designed! I ended up hammering it down until it became a kind of ring shape and positioned the diamonds where I could, or where they allowed me to place them. The prototype looks very different from the final piece. 

The process led me to accept what’s there, to accept the friction, tightness and rage, through dealing with an indecipherable white gold alloy and the unknown origin of the metal and diamonds. In the same way my family didn’t feel the weight of the colonial looting these objects carried with them and my father didn’t see the harm, I didn’t see the absurdity in trying to hide things as an act of healing. 

Matter knows where it belongs, carries intention and has memory.