I really love the amazingly over the top gold that the Asanti tribe from Ghana wear. For centuries they have been making jewellery using the lost wax casting technique, where wax models are covered in thin layers of clay, which is then fired so that the clay hardens and the wax melts out, the clay is then used to cast the gold. I thought it would be interesting to recreate the texture and look of the cast gold jewellery using a non precious material, something which could be done by anyone. I have cut rubber inner tubes and sprayed them with gold paint which I actually really like!
I went to the British Museum for a bit of inspiration. They have a pretty comprehensive collection of African artefacts, most of which are quite dark and a bit creepy. I really love the rust and texture of a lot of the objects they have. There is also some contemporary art there like the huge textile made from recycled bottle tops by the artist El Anatsui from Ghana. Upcycling is something I have done throughout most of my work so far and I am really interested to push that further in this project, as it is so evocative of African culture. So much tribal jewellery is made from what people find around them, I think this will be the starting point of my material play.