My favourite piece of jewellery is a necklace made of plastic twigs. Never before have I appreciated the delicate form of a synthetic stick from a plastic floral arrangement, complete with a browny-green patina and potential new life budding from its gnarled joints. But then again, there lies the genius of Lauren Simeoni and Melinda Young – this collaborative duo has a knack for spotting the unique beauty and humour in everyday objects. Lock up Nonna’s plastic grapes, hide your fake ferns; in this new world order everything is fodder for the imagination and the jewellers’ bench.
Simeoni and Young have been working collaboratively for over three years, applying their training in jewellery and object making to unorthodox materials, to create necklaces and brooches that are poetic combinations of plastic, gems and precious metals. Silver, pearls or coral are melded seamlessly with their plastic counterparts to create unexpected and beautiful organic forms to adorn the body.
Taking inspiration from their natural and urban environments, Simeoni and Young have a shared material sensibility, one that is instinctively drawn to quirky, unusual objects that might otherwise be overlooked. The rich colours and textures of these found objects are important triggers of inspiration for both artists – in their hands bright pink, green and red plastic foliage becomes wearable studies of colour and pattern. Found materials and ideas are shared between the two artists’ studios in Adelaide and Sydney, prompting new perspectives and new discoveries in both of their practices. This is an inspired and productive collaboration, one that is an active engagement in a shared aesthetic and whilst producing two bodies of work, the line between them is increasingly blurred.
Finding inspiration in the detritus of our everyday lives, Simeoni and Young transform our lost and forgotten objects into wearable art. Expect the unexpected with un•nat•u•ral | Naturally, and find joy in the details.
Curator – Collection