As we self-isolate and gaze into the existential void of a pandemic, we have decided to postpone the opening of Jewels To Die For and have gone online with it instead.

Strangely, these pieces give us a powerful vision of our times. Skulls unearthed as if from the shifting sands of Planet Earth, act as portals into deep human time, reminding us of our fleeting moment of consciousness here.

“Jeweller to the Lost”, Barbara Heath, has made a jewel that honours the skull in an 18 ct gold ring enamelled to give it that mysterious patina of millennia. Her Skull Ring (pictured above) seems ready for intergalactic travel with its constructed basket setting to help navigate.

Barbara, of course, is an icon in contemporary jewellery spheres and is represented by the Queensland Art Gallery among other institutions. A recent visit to her Brisbane studio unearthed a cabinet of fabulous curiosities including three gothic bronze sculptures adorned with 18ct gold and studded with cubic zirconias. Entitled Sous Terre (Under Ground) these works can sit on your desk to provide guidance or be worn by the very brave as amulets.

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