7. Jewellery and the body

There is a fascinating dynamic between the body and jewellery. This theme encourages submissions that consider this relationship from all that it implies:

jewellery is primarily “for the body” and even unworn – or unwearable – jewellery both defies expectations and common sense and is arguably made ‘complete’ only when imagined in contact with the body. Yet, apart from a few exceptional cases, jewellery spends most of its time “off” the body, and its relationship to the body is nothing if not negotiable.

Early examples of jewellery that played a supporting role as exhibited objects in the display of power; and more recent examples of jewellery that uses the body as a point of reference, or as a subject matter, rather than as destination suggest that in some cases, the body is an accessory to jewellery.

We are interested both in papers that explore facets of the relationship between the body and jewellery and also those that question the assumption that the relationship between body and jewellery is both stable and unequivocal; that parse out the differences that exist between bodies (in particular, the idealised body of the muse, the generic body of the wearer, the specific body of the commissioner); that consider wearing as both a form of legitimation of jewellery, and limit to its development as an autonomous art form.

Keywords: body-jewellery dynamics, visible vs hidden, wearability vs display, idealised bodies, generic bodies, specific bodies