1. Jewellery and sense of self

Jewellery has an inherent connection to the body; it is created to be imagined on or in relationship with the human form. When worn jewellery accompanies us and in some cases can become part of our habitus. Whether worn, unworn or unwearable the perception of this relationship between jewellery and the body creates a form of intimacy that is particular to jewellery objects. This intimate context means that jewellery may function as a symbol of self, as something that becomes a witness to our experiences and as a signifier of aspects of identity and inter-personal relationships. Jewellery can become a conduit to transport us to other times, places and people, and as a receptacle for our feelings of that associated ‘other’ and in doing so reveal to us aspects of ourselves.

Many of these qualities are peerless and inimitable. This centres on the intimate spaces created by interpersonal relationships and an individual’s own sense of meaningfulness and sense of self. This theme explores interpretations of jewellery in relation to sense of self as well as the ways in which jewellery can support someone’s sense of self in a range of contexts and circumstances.

Keywords: understanding self, supporting self, anchor points, making, wearing, owning