The Chandelier of Lost Earrings demonstrates the power of art when people can connect with it on a personal level. After talking to staff at St Mary’s Hospital about how people responded to art installations they had created previously, artists Sagar and Campbell came up with the idea of the sculpture because it had several benefits. Not only would it provide a restful oasis of visual beauty in a busy environment, it would also be a way for staff and patients to invest in the artwork, both creatively and emotionally by sharing their personal items and stories.
Among the reported emotional benefits of getting involved were: remembering old friends, celebrating life and coming to terms with loss. Stories, which span generations of families, range from the earrings bought to celebrate the birth of a baby to the memento from a much-missed mum.
Hazel Jones was one of the first contributors. “For me, earrings make me think about the connection between history and memory and specifically how that relates to the female members of my family,” she says. Hazel writes about the jewellery-making course that gave her a lifeline after her mum died unexpectedly of a brain tumour. With such an emotional attachment to jewellery Hazel was delighted to finally make use of the lone earrings she couldn’t bear to part with. “The Chandelier of earrings seemed liked such a perfect idea. I could happily let earrings go and know that they were part of something much bigger and meaningful to the community of women as a whole.”
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