Mark Vaarwerk

"Delve into the garages, spare rooms, bottom drawers, cupboards-below-the-sinks of any home and you will be overwhelmed by mountains of stuff - and most of it plastic. Wasted pens, retired TVs or vacuum cleaners or printers, piles of dirty styrofoam boxes and packaging, shopping bags... 


Or a stroll down a busy street, a quick glance in a lunchroom waste-bin, a shortcut down a city alley...


Plastics - discarded, forgotten, superseded, broken.   Sifting through this seemingly endless source of raw materials, Mark Vaarwerk transforms these everyday materials, utilising simple techniques, into wearable items of jewellery. A small and colourful fragment, new and re-invented, but with still a hint of its less glamorous past. "


My practice revolves very much about the day-in-day-out routines of everyday people and lives. And the tracery (delicate or otherwise) of their existence. 


The bulk of materials from which my objects begin are the crumbs left by the average citizen moving through an ordinary city weekday. The office worker, the housewife, the student, the self employed, the unemployed. Materials, typically plastic, that are otherwise thrown out, are collected, manipulated and then transformed using simple experimental techniques. The aim of this transformation is simply to create something unexpectedly beautiful from “worthless” rubbish, itself the product of seemingly meaningless acts. The fact that jewellery is the result heightens this unexpectedness and prompts the viewer or wearer to question their notions of value and preciousness - not only of the materials, but also of the actions and activities that first consumed them. 

Work in stock or available for commission 

© Bilk Gallery 2020 

Directors Helen Aitken - Kuhnen and Mio Kuhnen               Subscribe/ Facebook/ Instagram