Journey of awareness : an exploration of identity through design
De Beer, Marlene
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My journey of awareness which is an exploration of my identity through design has resulted in a body of artefacts presenting as sculptures and various pieces of jewellery and a written dissertation. The sculptures include bronze castings as well as stoneware ceramic pieces. I produced silver jewellery and vitreous enamelled pieces which include some gold and glass bead detail. Although my sculptures could be considered as fairly small, working on this scale was a new experience to me as a jewellery designer who is used to working on an even smaller scale. I found it challenging to express the necessary emotion and meaning in my work while creating on such a relatively small scale. The body of artefacts is a concrete manifestation of my exploration of identity and was produced as an intuitive expression of memories and emotion. My memories are of personal experiences within a specific cultural and historical context, and the exploration forms part of a critical transformative inquiry. The motivation for this transformative inquiry forms part of a holistic de-fragmentation of my personal and cultural identity in an attempt to construct meaning and authenticity through design. The artefacts were produced in holistic cycles presenting in two distinct phases which are discussed chronologically. I recorded the process and my thoughts and feelings in a reflective journal which included a visual journal in my studio and served as a reference for my discussion of the cycles. I experienced the process of making as a ritualistic enactment of healing and the construction of meaning. In the written and illustrated submission for the award of this degree, I have endeavoured to offer an explanation of my professional and emotional development that formed part of the transformative process. I have chosen not to separate my explanation of my development as a designer and my personal development as it occurred concurrently. Digital imagery of my body of artefacts forms a record of my work offered for exhibition purposes and is included with the written dissertation.