Why do you like working with gold?

It’s an ongoing research I’m doing. I can explain. I kept having some dreams about gold and some visions of golden objects. I grew up in Sicily, Italy, where baroque was the main artistic expression in architecture and decoration in churches and all over Sicilian towns. So my childhood memories mean that gold is something which has always been of interest to me. 

I grew up looking at these beautiful artefacts painted with gold leaves and such. Just being fascinated by the beauty and the colours of these artistic expressions. So, a big part of my imagination and magical memory realms are connected to the colour gold.

Then in addition to that, I grew an interest in gold and I started to understand how beautiful that material is in terms of the properties it carries. It is a soft metal, a great conductor of energy. There are so many good properties about the metal itself that made me start to grow fond of it. Aesthetically it goes very well with the bead colours I use. It’s a great tool to unleash my fantasy world. By using gold, I feel that I can create magical creations; objects of beauty that can really fit in my imagination.

 

I gather from what you describe that it’s not just about creating a piece of jewellery, which you can sell, but there’s another purpose in the making of jewellery for you? Would you say that you want to create something more than just a piece of jewellery?

What I create is often something that follows my artistic flow. It is the mirroring of my inner artist’s journey and once I let go of the creation I can trust that there will be someone out there wanting to use it,not only as a piece of jewellery, but also as something that has a different value for them; a spiritual value. As a magical object that is going to promote an alternative relationship between themselves and the world around them.

In the creation of my jewellery, there is a very personal process which involves creativity, playfulness and a good deal of dreaming, however there is another aspect to it, which is the spiritual side of the project.

The creation of the piece becomes,for me,a journey of self-awareness and consciousness. Whenever I’m creating a piece, I find myself consciously putting some intentions into it. I find myself internalising some emotional and spiritual processing around the intentions that I am working on, which I then believe the gold retains.

This very process of understanding brings me into a meditative space and all the personal realisations that occur from this process are of a specific energetic quality, which is the one of presence.

Gold becomes for me,the material that ignites this seeking for knowledge. I believe it can create and recreate that specific energetic field for whoever comes in contact with that piece of jewellery.

So in that way, my personal creation story of the piece can be passed onto the person who is going to wear it and they can also create their own story using that same tool. The object can become the companion for their own journeys.

In order to facilitate this transmission, my imagination creates myths and a narrative that accompanies each one of my pieces. The myths/stories are a metaphor for my artistic journey with that specific piece, but are also I believe what the gold wants to communicate to me and to pass on to the world.

The myth that I create is inseparable from the piece it belongs to, and is intended to inspire the person who is going to wear the piece next. The story can feed their own magical world of fantasy once they wear the jewellery for long enough to establish a relationship with it.

The jewellery becomes a mirror though which one can see themselves, making the piece of jewellery aphysical representation of their inner magical world. So each piece of jewellery is intended to be a dynamic art project, which is going to grow in the imagination of the person that will have it next. The story continues after I’ve passed it on, it intertwines with the life of the new owner.

So for example when I am creating a wedding ring I can lay down some really good thoughts about love, union and attraction and seal this processing of thoughts and emotions in the gold that I am using.

Sometimes I also sing to the gold in order to infuse it with good vibes.
My belief is that when I’m passing that piece onto someone else, all the good intentions and thoughts I have been putting into it are going to create a foundation for the person who owns it to go on to create more beauty in their life through a sacred union and their wedding,and whichever situation is going to unfold in their lives.
So the myth sealed in the piece of jewellery will unfold and develop in the life of the people that own it.

 

So do you pass on that story to them? 

Yes, I do. The piece comes with a story that is the fruit of my personal processing as an artist to create the jewellery, and it tells the narrative of a magical world connected with that piece of jewellery.

 

What does influence the actual physical objects that you make? Have you got the artists that you look at, are there other cultures that you look at? What influences the work that you do?

I mean I am always keen to look at other people’s work because I enjoy looking at what other people create, in terms of their own artistic world and seeing how that translates into an art piece. I enjoy enquiring about the process that goes from vision to form. As for taking inspiration, I think that when I look at other jewellery artists,I do look carefully at the technique they are using in order to make that piece. I find that a good way to expand my knowledge, is in terms of asking myself the question: ‘what kind of techniques are they using?’ So I can apply it to my own visions. In terms of the aesthetic of my work I take lots of inspiration from Italian Baroque style because I’m Sicilian and grew up in Sicily and over there colour seems to be enhanced by the light of the sun, gold especially. So everything that is communicating sunshine and colours to me inspires me.

I do like for example,the combination of coral and gold together. And it is a very common colour combination in Sicily, my mum used to wear coral and gold very often. So it is a combination that is embedded in my subconscious and I remember as a child looking at my mum’s jewellery on her and finding it fascinating.

 

Do you actually use coral or you mean the colour coral?

Yes, I use coral sometimes. I use semi-precious stones that are shaped as beads. For example, I am using an old necklace of my mum’s that broke and she asked me to take it and make something new with it. The necklace itself is made up of little coral beads and with these beads I can create a piece of jewellery that has both gold and coral in it. Whenever I use semi-precious and precious stones, I currently use them as beads.

 

It must be important to you, if you’ve got a spiritual side to your jewellery making, to understand the provenance of the materials that you’re using. Where they come from for example. So how do you understand the provenance of the materials used? Do you gather the materials yourself?

Yes, whenever possible I source all materials myself. It’s a constant ongoing research. If I have a choice, I always choose to use Fairtrade, sustainable and ethical materials, as well as upcycling.

I can source gold and other materials as certified Fairtrade or recycled. I also use other sustainable materials for my jewellery making, like feathers. For example, whenever I use feathers, I make sure that they’re sourced ethically and that no animals have been harmed in the process of gathering them. Most of the time it can be feathers that I gather myself during my walks in Cornwall, or for the more exotic ones, feathers that are from moulting birds andonly from trusted sources.

I also reuse semi precious and precious stones and materials from old jewellery. Some customers come to me with old jewellery and ask me to transform the broken piece into one that has a new life. Or I sometimes get jewellery donated to me and reuse its components in other pieces. I’d like to clarify though that I don’t do repairs, I’m more likely to take a broken piece and change it into something completely different.

So, whenever I need to purchase new materials, I always check the source. Yeah, that’s what I do.

 

So, is this combination of using beads and different materials as well as gold an important element to your jewellery? Because obviously it seems like your jewellery is not just purely gold or is the main focus just gold? Or maybe a combination of all these things together?

I use both gold and beaded features for my jewellery. Sometimes the beaded parts are nicely linked together by the gold parts of the jewel and other times the main material is primarily gold, like for some of my rings. Some designs also include, in addition to gold and beads, feathers. The reason for this aesthetic choice is that colours are a huge part of my artistic expression and, as I was mentioning earlier, the combination of colours and gold is what resonates the most with my unconscious aesthetic drive.

However, the beaded part of my jewellery really allows my meditative mind to unleash and I can use the beading as a relaxing meditation where the manual movement of my hands does not require much attention. In that space I can open my mind to silence.

Nowadays I am not even following a pattern when I bead but letting my creative expression flow and my hands create something that arises from the moment, rather than planning the pattern of a beaded object beforehand. In other words, my mind is not logically engaged in the process, its relaxed.

 

So is that a natural process? An organic process? Does it sort of change as the piece of work is being created?

I would say that the pattern emerges from the making, rather than the making from the pattern.

 

But you must have an idea to start off with roughly where you want to go or where you want to head to?

For example, I might have an idea that the necklace needs to be composed of five pieces of gold of that shape and five pieces of beaded objects of that shape. So, I get an overall picture in my head or on paper of what the necklace is going to look like. For the beading,I can actually start with weaving some beads together using some sort of technique that I know can initiate a specific shape, and within that frame I can then chose to use certain colours or change my weaving techniques in order to change the shape of the object as well.

When I make 3D flowers,I always start from the centre then as I grow the design concentrically, adding more and more beaded circles, I can decide what shape the flower will take. In that way,to construct my 3D flower I don’t have to have an idea of how this flower is going to form, I can just let it arise from the beading, but my grounding in the process is my knowledge of beading techniques. I use 20 plus beading techniques in my jewellery. Whenever I see the flower rising from the design I can decide to change techniques for the following round or beads in order to give the flower another dimension.

 

So, is it that can you do the same thing with gold – change and manipulate its shape?

With gold it’s completely different. What I just described is the beaded part and it is like a meditation. I use beading as a meditation. So, I set my ground by thinking of a possible technique to start with and then I start letting my emotions flow, difficult or good emotions and I process them through the beading.

Gold on the other hand, becomes the conductor of the intention that I previously sealed in the beaded piece. With gold it’s a different process; a different quality of the process. It’s still a meditative process but there are not many thoughts involved. There isn’t much processing involved, because I need to be careful of what I am doing with the material. When I work with gold, I need to be centred, and very calm. My mind is very much concentrated on what I am doing when I use flames or a hammer for example. It can be a dangerous practice that doesn’t allow my mind to be busy with any other thoughts. My breathing on the other hand allows me to stay connected and present to my body movements. The thoughts that come through when I’m working with gold are different than when I’m working with beads.

 

But there must be a process, a plan of the way you are going to work with that. If it involves flame, if it involves all the different techniques you mentioned, there must be a plan. You must go ‘Right I want to create this’ and go ahead and create it. So, I guess it’s less intuitive, it’s more to do with having this plan, sticking to it and being in the moment to make sure that all goes well and safe.

Working with gold is about presence. It’s about being present in that moment and I cannot just drift off. I need to be present while I’m doing the work. But the processing here is that I allow my vision to come through by organising it into a plan of action. The vision of a necklace could start as a simple vision of a golden shape of some kind, then I need to find out the way I can create that vision and finally organize the image practically.

 

So, it sounds like there’s a constant building up of techniques with gold. It sounds like, if you’ve got this vision, you then need to learn the techniques to be able to get as near to that vision as you possibly can. Is it a constant learning process that you deal with when working with gold?

Sure, I never stop learning and… buying new tools – Also new visions come depending on what techniques I know as well, as sometimes if I don’t know how to make something it might be that this is affecting my third eye and what I can envision with it.

 

You mentioned that your jewellery is about stories. And I’m just wondering where your love of stories comes from. Where does it come from?

It comes from my childhood. When I was a child I grew up into an environment that was very noisy not because my family was any more special than many others in Sicily, but because Sicily it’s a noisy region of Italy. There is not much of a sense of privacy. Everybody lives together – constantly into celebration and sharing of stories. Everybody is constantly talking, at the same time most of the time. As a child I was very much craving for space that was just my own, where I could get lost in my own imaginary world – in my own thoughts. It was my meditation time. That was my practice at the time. It was a calming practice that allowed me to know myself as I was growing and know what I liked, what I didn’t like, what kind of personality I was developing.


I loved to get lost in books, but I also remember even earlier in life that my mum used to read me so many stories. I just loved to get lost in my imagination, it really was the thing that was keeping me sane, anchored. So, the world of reading was a world I was escaping into very often and reading fantasy books was my favourite thing. The books didn’t have to be necessarily fantasy actually, they were just fiction stories, stories about emotions, purely fictional children’s stories and then I started to write stories as well at some point in my life, for children, for myself, initiation stories. I have a series of stories that I wrote just as a way to understand where I was in that moment in my life. They helped me to process my own emotions at that time. Writing stories and creating imaginary worlds have always been a part of my life.

 

So, are the imaginary worlds and the stories used as an escape from this world in your art practice? Did you get out of this world, to go somewhere else?

Now this is much more a process on how to integrate this reality I’m living in, with an imaginary world that lives inside myself and vice versa. It’s about how to find a balance between the imaginary world and the outside reality, the empirical reality that surrounds me and the ethereal world that I carry inside.

The question at the time of my childhood was, how can I magically reinterpret the objective reality within myself so I can understand it better so I can then walk this life like I fit in? And now it has become a tool to understand the reality that surrounds me and how to make it more understandable for my emotional self. This is what it is about now.

In the writing of a story that goes with a piece of jewellery, I put in the intention to unlock a special interpretation of what we call ‘reality’. I intend to pass this magical interpretation on, so others can explore what magic means for them and use their piece of jewellery like a portal to their own inner dimensional reality. 

 

So, is it a bit like Magical Realism?

I guess you can call it Magical Realism.

I remember when I was a child I often used to have very realistic dreams, where I was also having consciousness of where I was inside my dream and I could manipulate the dream to go to a certain direction or another, lucid dreaming I believe it is called.

I remember once as a child after a lucid dream, when I woke up in the morning I was able to unlock a certain key understanding of a real situation that was happening in my life at the time. The dream was very complex and quite vivid, and the simple fact I remembered it, allowed me to process its emotional structure consciously while I was awake. That was the first time as a child when I could actually feel in charge of my own life and I was able to really change the course of events around me as I was following the vision and the solution presented to me in my dream and my fantasy world by my unconscious mind. That was a gift of freedom for me, I must have been 6 or 7.

In this way, the stories I write are not intended as a means to escape reality, but to provide the emotional tools to face it instead. The stories that are attached to my jewellery are aimed at unleashing that quality of conscious dreaming in their future owners.

 

What was the inspiration for creating these pieces for special occasions?Where did you first get the idea from?

When I’ve got married four years ago, I decided to create for myself as much as possible anything that I needed for my wedding. My embroidered wedding dress, my jewellery and the bouquet were all hand made by myself.

The reason why I chose to create all these items myself was that I recognise the value of craft as a meditation process. The crafting of these objects that I was going to wear on that special day would allow me to go into deep meditation and understanding about the step I was about to take in getting married. So the actual practice of making these pieces helped me to understand what I was getting into, what I was going to do and what the promise I was about to give actually was, not just to my future husband, but to the universe and therefore to myself, to my own universe. So, in a way, I started to reconnect with all those women in Sicily that in the past used to embroider their wedding dresses. They were used to spending their entire lives creating their bottom drawers for their weddings. There must have been a reason for that, and I was intended to unlock this wisdom myself.

 

This seems to have lots of parallels with indigenous cultures, I’m thinking about Mexico and I’m thinking about embroidery in Mexico. It is the process of creating that thing that changes you as a person and then that changes your interaction with whatever that occasion is – whether that’s a marriage or a birth or another ritual.

Exactly and you’re also creating some protection for yourself if you create all the power objects you are going to wear during a ceremony. I believe that, as I have experienced it within the ceremonies I have been taking part in, whenever you’re entering a ritual, you are crossing the line between reality and magic. So, you are in that very thin passage between magic and reality. Whenever I enter a ritual, I am crossing the line between magic and reality. There is a huge parallel between this quality of ritual and the stories I tell. They both become alive in a dreamlike world where everything becomes possible, where the unconscious mind meets the conscious will. This is also a space where we, as human beings, become very open. Where we can shape for ourselves any desired reality. Therefore, the responsibility that comes with dreaming our lives into reality during a ritual is huge and it is always a personal work, a job that cannot be delegated to anybody else.

A friend of mine who I used to encounter in different meditation gatherings around the world once told me: “Be careful what you wish for”. With that responsibility in mind I created for myself all the magical objects to accompany me on my wedding day, charged with clear intentions, protection and lots of love. Afterwards I started to desire to do this for others one day: create magical objects for their special days which carry intentions and full potential to channel their deepest desires. Gold seemed to be the perfect medium for this prayer.

 

So we were talking about ritual and about the ritual space being the interaction between this world and the other world.

Yes, the interaction between magic and reality. It’s like staying in between the two worlds of magic and reality, a special moment where anything becomes possible. I will use this as a metaphor: it is a bit like when the sun is rising. You get the first light from the sun just coming through the line of the horizon then the sunlight breaks into the sky. That is undoubtedly a magical moment. In the same way a ritual for me is that moment when the light of the sun breaks into the sky, the portals of manifestation open and anything is possible. One needs to prepare well for a ritual, it’s a very important moment. Especially if it’s your wedding like it was for me. I understand the depth and importance of that moment and I want to do my best to unlock its full potential. For that I need protection and to open my heart so I will be able to receive and manifest what is the best prayer for me and for my life on such a special day. To facilitate this process, I use magical tools.

Talking about protection in relation to the garments I created for my wedding day, it was very important to create a special dress and jewellery for that moment of my life. Manifestation of my dreams was my main intention for the wedding ritual, so I really had to be careful of what I was wishing for. I knew I had to be conscious about what I wished to create and as I put so much time and many good thoughts into creating my wedding dress, my jewellery and my beaded bouquet for my wedding, I had time and space to reflect and meditate about what I was really wishing for. The crafting of my garments allowed me to be conscious about my wedding. So that during the ritual, in that very moment when the portals between magic and reality opened, I was ready to wish for the right things. I was ready to receive the fruit of my craft.

That was a very important moment as an artist, it opened a door to a new understanding of what creating means to me. The same way I approached the creating process with consciousness for the occasion of my wedding, I can now also do this when I craft jewellery for other people. Even without knowing the personal story of the people I’m making a piece for, I can tune in and put lots of good thoughts and intentions in the making of the jewellery. When I create wedding rings, I am conscious of the energy I’m putting into the rings. I am conscious of the importance of the ritual the couple is going to embrace. However they are going to celebrate their wedding, I will treat it as an important moment for them and therefore create the magical rings the wedding couple deserves for this very special occasion.

 

I think it’s an interesting one but let me ask you a question then.

Are you trying to say that you can heal these people in some way through your jewellery?

I am not trying to say that my jewellery is magical in the sense that it can heal all your problems or manifest all your desires, I believe that my jewellery is a tool. Like a magic wand. (she smiles) Then it is up to how people use it and what they do with it that makes all the difference. It’s always someone’s choice how to use a special object and what power to give that object – to use it consciously or not.

I firmly believe that when I work with a piece of my art in this way, I am creating an identity for that piece. Then, once the piece of art goes to a different owner and leaves its “nest”, it has got a life on its own. However, because of the energy that I’ve been putting into it while creating it, I believe it is going to attract the right path for the piece to be able to create even more beautiful situations of clear intentions and manifestations that are in tune with the nature of the piece. So, if I open up a path of consciousness and presence for a ring, a necklace etc… those will then create in the world more consciousness and presence.

 

What is that you would like that piece to transmit? What is that you would like that piece to be doing in the world?

It depends on what I am specifically creating but in general I would like my jewellery to bring consciousness and presence to those who wear it.  

I trust the power of consciousness. Everything that is possible within the realm of consciousness and presence is good. So, I don’t need to state that a piece I created has healing powers for whomever buys it or that it is going to fix their situation, or whatever they might want to hear in order to release their own power into the object. The piece is going to be a channel to bring into their life whatever they truly need to remain present and do their very best to manifest their heart’s true desires. But I don’t know what that manifestation is about in detail, I don’t need to know their personal story. I’m not a clairvoyant in that way. And I cannot guarantee the piece will be used well either. I know the jewellery I create is going to bring work to the person who wears it, and that work is a spiritual work, which comes from a greater consciousness and it will be bringing the person into a space of presence.

I don’t assume in any way that I can heal people with my special powers. Or that the object I create can in anyway heal a person. Everybody has a choice of whether or not to heal themselves, and nobody should give away their power to someone or something else.

 

OK so it’s not that you would like to bring a specific world into reality. It’s not like you’ve got a specific vision or even a version for a better world. I understand that you trust in the process of each individual to be manifesting and bring presence into their lives and to have their own version of their future. But what if their version of the future is a very horrible one? One that brings devastation and destruction? They could use your jewellery as a magical tool to manifest that reality.

In this manifestation process there is indeed a possibility of that, when a magic tool is not being used to manifest good things. I am aware of that. But I also know, if that is the case, then the people who wish to manifest a negative reality put themselves in front of their own shadows.

A magical tool is a mirror, not a projecting weapon. Manifesting a reality based on your unconscious shadows only has an effect on the person who creates that reality and it might also be part of their path in finding out about their own shadows, so they can bring light to them. It’s still a fundamental part of a conscious path the – one of becoming aware of our own shadows.

 

I think it’s quite a gypsy way of looking at the world. I’m just thinking of the connection with the whole gypsy world. There are certain things that are neutral in their power, whoever takes them on, that’s the way it goes. Does that make sense? So, a piece sort of gives that power to whatever there is.

I trust the flow life so much that I know whatever I create, once let free into the world, will facilitate even more situations for more people out there to be conscious. In fact, this is the very intention I charge each piece I create with.

As you were mentioning gypsy culture, that reminds me so much of my own culture. Sometimes I watch documentaries about the ways of the Travellers, and it is a bit like going back home to Sicily as my motherland has a big gypsy side. Especially in the way we celebrate rituals. There is so much ostentation of abundance, noise, drama…

 

So what is it like? Can you describe a typical Italian wedding?

Oh yes! Italian weddings. Italian weddings are noisy! And there is always a church involved, at least most times, because there is a strong Catholic belief system in Sicily, but it doesn’t mean that people who attend a church wedding are actually listening to the mass and being truly spiritually connected with it. It’s more a tradition. They’re just following the rules. It’s mostly a conforming behaviour to a socially accepted form of getting married. And that’s fine. There is something about doing a ritual because it is traditional that is very powerful. Tradition is a ritual on its own. Imagine the same words, songs, movements, being repeated from people of different generations for centuries. That is a powerful form of ritual.

There are also lots of people gathering with the same intention in the same place. The intention is one of celebrating the unity of two people coming together to form a family. The fact that your church wedding might be exactly the same as everybody else’s church wedding, adds an element of humbleness into the picture as well.

The repetition of the ritual structure and form is adorned by lots of heart opening moments that are very personal to the people present at the mass. There is always the mother of the bride crying for example and so too the groom’s mother, because….

 

That’s because they’ve been sat there for hours?

No, it is because they are letting their own daughter and son officially become adults. Crying in a Sicilian church is allowed, emotional expression is completely understood – completely welcomed – it is a cathartic moment. Catharsis is a ritual within the ritual that has its origins in ancient Greece. It’s about, in this case, letting go of your children and sending them off with a blessing into the world.

 

Well that reminds me of Gypsy Weddings again: these women that go from being the possession of their father to be the possession of their husbands. There is an element to it that is very gypsy like, and I think is the religious side of the ritual.

Yes, Sicilian culture can be seen as the result of a very patriarchal society, likewise the Gypsy one. The celebration that comes after the church mass in Sicilian weddings, reminds me of Gypsy wedding culture too.

On this occasion the sacred and the profane meet, you will jump from the deeply religious ritual taking place at the church to another ritual, which is a sort of ‘Baccante’.

This ritual is around another God, the god of wine and food. In Sicilian wedding celebrations people drink enough to stay happy and eat food without any limits… for hours.

The amount of food given to the wedding guests reflects the amount of presents the couple receives. Food is a way for the couple to say thank you in advance for all the presents and abundance they are going to receive. Sicilian people are very generous when it comes to weddings. Sicilian families are so generous in giving gifts to the married couple, it is a setting off, a blessing to the couple that is about to enter the grown-up world.

The meaning of this generosity is: you are now in charge of your own life together, you are not children anymore – you are adults, you take charge of your own destiny. We give you a responsibility of goods to take with you, use them wisely. A couple that marries in Sicily receives lots of money, lots of gold, and lots of silver as gifts. In exchange they make sure to receive their guests with an abundant feast.

 

All the gold and silver is portable wealth as well isn’t it? You can put it all in your pocket.

Yes true. In a way you can say it is more valuable than money.

 

How was your own wedding?

For my own wedding we created a ritual that was a mix between English and Sicilian cultures as my husband is from the UK. People understood that we were conscious about the ritual we were creating, and we were using it to step into our life together even though it was not done according to Sicilian traditions. We were conscious of the steps we were taking. And we wanted to share that consciousness with others.

 

What other occasions are there where gold is given as a ceremonial gift? Christening?

If you are born a woman in Sicily, gold is going to be a big part of your life. So that’s probably also why I took this direction as an artist now and I am working with gold.

In Sicily when you are a born a girl, lots of people give you gold. Gold chains, gold earrings as well as necklaces, all jewellery you can wear later in life. Anything that is going to be an asset for your life ahead. Then you are free to wear them all later on or to pass them onto your children, but unless there is a very important reason for it, you would never sell any gold you’ve received as a gift. As a woman your mother would teach you that gold is so precious you should not sell it.

You cannot sell it and convert it to money, because money goes, gold doesn’t. Gold has a value that goes beyond the value of money. Gold comes before money. That’s how it is intended in the culture where I am from. My conditional understanding of gold is along these lines. For me this metal has such a value that money is an exchange for it, but it’s not really what it’s worth. Your mum will save it for you till you are old enough and mature enough to really choose what to do with it.

 

So there is not a set age, it’s just when you’re mature enough.

Yeah, I mean usually eighteen is a good age in general, by eighteen you would know what to do.

I have an anecdote to share. When I was 21 I told my mum I wanted all my gold with me because I wanted to sell it and she gave me a straight ‘no’ as an answer. We had an argument about it because I said that it was mine and I surely was going to be the one to decide what to do with it.

My mum gave it to me but made me promise I was going to save it not sell it. And I promised I would hold on to it and if I was going to sell it I would discuss it with her first.

And then interestingly enough, a month after I took my gold, my parents had all the gold stolen from their house. So, my unconscious intuition to get all my gold with me was right because I saved all of it. All the gold that belongs to me is safe now and didn’t get stolen.

Gold before money. I understand now that this has a profound spiritual meaning. Gold in ancient cultures was intended as a spiritual tool. Only later on was transformed into a symbol of wealth.

My relationship with gold as a girl is also one of intuition and protection. Gold has always been for me a protection shield. I always thought that the people, who gifted all this gold to me when I was born, put so many good intentions into it, that even unconsciously I received the message they sent to me -all those blessings they sent, I received. Later on in life, I decided to save my gold gifts. I somehow managed to prevent my magical protection amulets from being stolen, just by being connected with the true meaning of these gifts rather than their monetary value. 

One of my projects is to create bespoke objects for newborns, knowing that they’re going to be objects of protection for the life of the child and they are going to carry vibrations of good wishes for that child from the moment he/she is born.

With all the gold you are getting on that occasion you’re starting to build up your bottom drawer. Traditionally in a patriarchal society you are acquiring goods, and the more goods you have, the more valuable a wife you are going to be and so you have better chances of getting a better husband.

I am not for a patriarchal interpretation of the function that gold jewellery has when gifted to a newborn and I don’t hold a Catholic faith, but I understand some of the teachings that my parents passed to me through the Sicilian Catholic culture. I made those teachings my own and I use them as a foundation to build my animistic beliefs upon.   

In my own spiritual world and spiritual understanding of this world, Christening, Communion, Wedding, and all the Catholic sacraments become a rite of passage, a marking of different ages of the human being.

My art project ultimately is the one to create objects and in particular jewellery that can be donated for those occasions. Amulets that can bring protection and good wishes for the person who receives them in this very special moment of their life.

Gold, I believe, belongs to ceremonial spaces and my artistic mission is to be a reminder that our lives can be carried forward in a ceremonial manner, giving importance and shifting our awareness to each step we take. And if I can create tools that are going to be used for the purpose of bringing more awareness into the lives of people then I am serving my own purpose as an artist in today’s society.