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Jonathan Fairbairn

My project is a steel exploration of the themes of “a pocket full of courage” and “a wearable defence.” The main inspiration for my work is the armour found in the Wallace collection. Prompted by my own personal experience of living with bullying and social anxiety, I wanted to make something small that could also protect. I have chosen to explore this through the medium of steel because even when you thin steel down, it retains its strength. I decided to express these two ideas as a collection of warding talismans that can be carried in the pocket or worn about the person as a broach. I have included Norse runes because I have a love of Norse mythology and history, and feel that your history strongly informs who you chose to be. 

Most of my work links to my own past in some way. I appreciate the metaphorical qualities of materials, especially steel, as well as the purely sensory features. Steel is a favourite medium, partly because it can be made to look very fragile, but it will still withstand the hardest blows. I also love its rustic character: when cleaned up with a wire brush it retains dark blackness in its depths, with shining brightness on the surface, creating an appealing contrast.