The jewellery of Ilse-Marie Erl involves intriguing contrasts between traditionally valuable materials and those that are seen so often in daily life that they are now viewed as essentially valueless.
Erl explores the beauty to be found in all surfaces, from the sparkle of a diamond to the subtle textures and tonal variations found in a piece of concrete, and conveys her discoveries with a high degree of technical skill.
Erl says of her work:
'In my work I use concrete, silver, diamonds and mother of pearl.
Using these materials I am reflecting on urban Aotearoa. Living in the biggest pacific city I am experiencing the urban sprawl, the mixing and mingling of different peoples, the growing pressure on our natural and social environment and the challenges to culture and conventions.
How do these factors influence and determine our perception of ourselves?
Popular icons usually reflect dynamics in our psyche. I find it fascinating to observe which images and symbols emerge into the realm of fashion, design and art and how they relate to our understanding of identity and beauty.'