This piece was designed for my Mother's 60th birthday. It is inspired by our mutual love of ballet. (My Mother is a retired ballet dancer and I have danced for almost as long as I have been walking.) I wanted to create a piece of jewellery for her that reflects the fluidity and grace of a ballerina’s movement.
The story behind this piece is based on the beautiful and highly complex Rose Adagio from sleeping beauty, which was the first ballet I saw as a child. This passage of the ballet, where the princess Aurora meets potential suitors at a ball is one of the hardest, but most beautiful routines to perform in all classical ballet.
The name of the pendant - Couru comes from the movement – couru en tournant - which is central to the choreography of this section of the ballet. The form of the piece is both a rose and a ballet dancer, depending how you look at it. The leaves and stem double as the ballerina's arms and legs while the flower portrays her head. The rose shape is in part reference to the rose adagio, but also to our surname; Rose . Appropriately the rose is a strong symbol of love.
The lines and curves capture the fluidity and grace of the couru ballet movement. The way the light dances around the curves adds to the feeling of movement and elegance. As a ballerina, it looks fragile but it infact its form makes it very strong. The way the pendant is suspended on the chain helps it to twizzle on the chain, so it actually performs part of the couru en tourant as my Mum wears it.
There is always a celtic essence to my work - in reference to my heritage. With this pendant there is a third almost hidden aspect to the leaves/arms and stem/legs which is a simplified triquetra - an ancient celtic symbol which can mean many things. In this case I have chosen it to represent the three phases of a women's life; youth and innocence , motherhood and nuture , wisedom and respect. The spiral of the rose flower also draws inspiration from another celtic symbol, the triskele - in reference to all things starting small and growing outwards . It is also symbolic of a journey.
Other inspirations for
this piece include the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the way I 'see'
flowers. Difficult to explain this point - I see the curves of the petals and
leaves of a flower.