Informed by her Jamaican heritage, Marcia Swaby’s practice studies the way jewellery and processes articulate unspoken Caribbean histories of peoples long gone. Her ongoing exploration rethinks the literal legacy of the past, to project concepts into present-day issues. Exposing museum collections, often not on public display, she interprets their personas to create an interface for encountering these formerly hidden cultures. This porcelain neckpiece is made from beads that take the shape of her palms as a haptic connection to time. The Latin text from Hans Sloane's 1696 documentation of Jamaican plants reinterprets enigmas to generate conversations and recounting of experiences.
Marcia is a casual academic at UNSW Art & Design, a recent graduate and an emerging visual artist working primarily in jewellery and objects. With an interest in historic objects and their inherent communication, she translates her interpretations through multimodal materials. Processes for her most recent works include lost wax casting, chasing metal, transferring historical texts, etching and experimenting with clay. As a tactile means of connecting with obscured histories, the essence of her work attempts to re-join fragments of the past into the present. Marcia is currently exploring traditional themes of jewellery making through digital technologies.
Image: Marica Swaby, Jamaica 1696: From One Garden To Another, 2018. Photo: Fiona Lu