Starburst - Caroline O'Connor

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Caroline O'Connor

he piece of work entitled, Starburst, was inspired by Cartier Earrings from the 1950's-60s which were designed in the era of the "New Look" collection inspiring glamour and feminity after a period of hardship and rations during the second world war. I was drawn to these earrings due to their simple clean lines, organic circular shape and their subtle sparkle which catches the eye without being overwhelming. The lines and repetition evoked the pleats of the "New Look" full-bodied skirts.

I decided to draw in the same way the earrings were constructed through a series of lines, turning the page, again and again, to see where the repetition and rhythm would take me. Sometimes adding separate elements together and then removing to keep alive the mantra of less is more.

The piece has been constructed with float glass generally thought of as utilitarian material rather than glamorous. Using a process of stacking to replicate clean lines I played with the cutting and fusing to create shapes that would harness the light and reflect it back to the viewer. The beautiful turquoise tint found at the edge of the glass became apparent and changed gently in different lights twinkling like a star in the night sky. The negative space in-between the two sides of the piece was played with to create depth and is reflected beneath to create more shapes and possibilities.

Like the postwar era in the 50s, the world is still recovering from a recessionary period where we all look for the simple things in life to keep hope alive.

Starburst - Caroline O'Connor

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:

Earrings

Earrings

Paris

1950-1960

Cartier

V&A collection reference number(s):
M.151:1, 2-2007 - Location: Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 32, shelf D, box 3

Exhibition Guide

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