Thousands of freshwater and cultured genuine pearls make up the work in the new collection due Autumn 2021. Precious pearls, symbolic of earthly values. Beautiful pearls created as balms to pieces of grit within the host shell. Beauty from pain. Life from dirt.

The pearl skulls in this collection are made from antique jewellery that I have been collecting for years. Mostly broken necklaces but some family pieces too. The human owners are as long gone as the creatures who created them. Pearls are given in love at various rites of passage like coming of age, bridal ware and anniversaries. They are familiar to us from life events that mark time and as such help the Vanitas grow it’s meaning. This is not offered as ghoulish work but as a true tender cycle of life where the pearls mirrors ours and we play out the journey, dust to dust.

Dinah Dufton (June 2021)