Photographing this collection was a phenomenal challenge. The artist direction was both exceptionally detailed and demanding. I felt that after months of working on the jewellery pieces, developing them, bringing them to life, the photography needed to honour this commitment by exercising the same dedication.
Endless gratitude goes to the team working with me to make my vision a reality. Eleanor Ackland, my long time photographer, has delivered a cinematic realism to the images; Olivia embodied my anthropomorphic fictional characters with lightness and generosity; and Karina revealed the skills and craft of a great magician in transforming Olivia with every look into a unique personality.
LOOK BOOK CREDITS:
Photography Eleanor Ackland
Hair & Makeup Karina Maree
Model Olivia Ludington
For this collection Joao Vaz used a variety of materials and techniques, truly fusing the machine and the hand made. This connection is most highly visible in the laser cut acrylic, which is then carefully hand engraved.
Soliloquy is also a collection that goes beyond fashion jewellery and includes fine pieces using 9ct gold and Australian opals.
For the first time Joao Vaz uses glass, which is hand made in his Sydney studio and then tension set in acrylic, a continuation of the technique pioneered in previous collections.
The photo shoot focuses on 4 different sides to the same person, a fictional girl called Martha. These characters explore the more explosive and intense emotions that we all experience at some point: the Start Goddess representing hope and enlightenment; the Snake Witch standing for frustration and anger; the Glow Mother for security, certainty and protection, and the Heart Lover exploring innocence, faith and primal potential.
STAGE 01 - STAR GODDESS
The power of the Star Goddess comes from the ability to harness the energy of the Sun and create a single source of light that could be described as having the intensity of one thousand Suns. This light is so strong that it’s capable of shinning through all objects, rendering them translucent, glass like, so that everyone can see through everything, through cars, buildings, people, animals, mountains, through everything.
To understand better how this light works, think of when you place your hand close to a light bulb, and you can just see it illuminating through the edges of your fingers, where matter is less dense, and you can see the light shining through your skin. The Star Goddess’s power is based on this principle, just much stronger and powerful.
Its intensity is so great that it doesn’t just illuminate the 3 physical dimensions, but also the 4th dimension: time, so that everyone can see through everything around them, but also through time, backwards to the past and forwards to the future. This ability to make all that is physical and temporal translucent, or in other words: clear, is able to make evident the infinite cyclic forces of the universal loop.
So to everyone who’s present when this light in shinning, it becomes clear that the physical scale between the microscopic and the colossal, doesn’t actually exist, as they can see that for everything that is small there’s always something smaller and to everything that is big, something that is bigger. And so, when the Star Goddess is shinning her light and making everything clear, we can see that there’s a scale to our left and another to our right, and that scale works in a loop.
Her light also shows us that similarly to the physical, time warps in a continuous loop rather than from beginning to end, more like, at every moment everything is beginning and at that same moment everything is ending. And this takes place now, and now, and again, and forever.
As we’re now able to see through everything, including time, we see that everything functions in a loop rather than an open line, and that everything around us, including ourselves, are at once the biggest and the smallest, the most important and the most irrelevant and when looking backwards in time we can see far beyond when we first were, and by looking forwards we can see far beyond after we have been.
This clarity, the final stage of the Star Goddess’s power, is called: The Clarity of Perception.
STAGE 02 - GLOW MOTHER
It’s not the temperature, nor the colour. It is instead the feeling that emanates from the relationship.
The Glow Mother is serious, she has had her own existence, her own difficult path, but this precondition does not impact on the message of caring for others, it only determines her guardedness, her black mask, her monolithic appearance and her harshness.
The warmth glows from her actions and intentions, not the way she looks.
When talking about a particular project of hers and more broadly about the need for architects and governments to revisit the way certain public institutions such as hospitals are built, imagined and designed, Zaha Hadid explained that just because a building seems cold and harsh it doesn’t mean
it isn’t comforting and reassuring; and to illustrate this she said that no one ever returns from visiting the arctic feeling let down, feeling empty and alone.
The Glow Mother prepares the foundations and ensures their continuation. She nourishes the roots with minerals and from her hands come the warm waves of someone who cares, who holds, who provides, who protects, and who balances the uneven currents.
I feel as though there’s a notion that care must come from a smiling face, and this disturbs me, because it implies that the messenger must be the message, which is reductive. The Glow Mother stands for the possibility that regardless of the aspect of the messenger, the message is still understood and carried on. In this case the message is warmth, shelter, protection, security and dignity.
STAGE 03 - HEART LOVER
Heart Lover is naive, innocent and faithful, the one that believes but doesn’t know why, the one that stretches her arms and holds them still even if empty. The Heart Lover is the motivator for connections that otherwise could never come into being; the independent force within all that can forge connections and create unity.
The Heart Lover isn’t the incorruptible; she’s rather, the uncorrupted.
Although I have always imagined these four characters represented as the four sides of a cube
(with no top and bottom), when I think of the Heart Lover, the formation seems to change due to the enormous gravitational pull generated by this character.
Instead of the above mentioned arrangement, I see much more clearly a triangle, where each side is represented by the other characters, and in the middle stands the Heart Lover, not as the creator, but rather as the propeller, the engine that gets the entire structure off the ground.
STAGE 04 - SNAKE WITCH
In desperation she looks away from hope. The corrosive nature of darkness creates a dense fog from which she cannot see past, and it’s in this state of blindness that she builds her fortress of solitude.
Now that she’s on her own, she becomes the voice and the echo, a phony caricature of agreement and understanding. Without a true source of resistance and contradiction she escapes ever further into the deepest state of remoteness and separation.
Profoundly alone, her only solace is herself.
I live in an apartment that has 2 balconies. These balconies face in opposite directions: one looks out to the street, and the other into the building’s backyard. As far as my balconies know they are completely different, they might not even realise that the other exists; yet, they both belong to the same apartment. They share more than they know.