This is our manifesto
GroundJewels is dedicated to pioneering ethical jewellery for an environmentally sustainable future.
We feel it is important to signal the fact that jewellery can be ethical. Normally, by no means all jewellery is environmentally sustainable or even ethically produced. We aim to change this. GroundJewels was established, as not to add to the proliferation and extractive nature of mass jewellery production, but to show that jewellery can be, and is, a force for good. All the jewellers we work with are very environmentally conscious. For them, and for GroundJewels, ethical means precious. Either GroundJewellers use recycled materials, or if the materials are new, they are compatible with environmental sustainability. Challenging and pushing materials to their limits. GroundJewels stands for ethical innovation. Here we are showcasing works of beauty for you to wear, AND which focus on environmental sustainability.
Jewellery can be a luxury, but there is no reason why it should not also be economical and resourceful. In so many ways, it needn’t cost the earth.
With each collection we aim to develop a new strand of interest in jewellery and environment, leading to a stimulation in regard to related actions and events. This has to be timely, in an era when we need to be increasingly wary of all kinds of threats from pollution, species loss, deforestation, climate change, and global pandemics.
Integration across disciplines for better understanding environmental change
We believe fruitful interactions between new people and ideas can be effected through handcrafted, unique and ethical jewellery. The core of this is the linking between artistic and environmental themes. With this leading to the bridging of disciplines through the integration of the Arts and sciences. The involvement and commitment of a widening public at large is crucial. This is building a culture linking art and environment and has a rippling effect of advocacy and influence. No action or piece of ethical jewellery is to small to make a change!
Calls to action start with the local but can lead to global impact
Every collection, piece of jewellery and event becomes a call to action. GroundJewels is located within GroundWork Gallery, which sits directly on the River Purfleet, within sight of the Great Ouse, the town’s tidal trading river. GroundJewels therefore joins GroundWork Gallery in reflecting the locality and unique environment of our surroundings. Since the middle ages, this wide river linked the town culturally and economically to the Baltic states of the medieval Hanseatic League. At one time it was buzzing with boats. They brought salt, herrings, timber, cloth and wine from Antwerp, Danzig, Lubeck, Hamburg, Bergen and other cities on the trading routes. The rivers are largely quiet now, but for the silent threats of climate change.
The whole town sits in a flood plain. Hence it is especially important here in this location, to consider the consequences of climate change. GroundWork Gallery gallery does this by showing art that helps us to think about the threats, but in the most positive ways. It’s jewellers and artists set the tone and produce the big stories. However, it is just as important for the viewing public to talk about it, and respond to work. Valuable conversations result from this and consequently, unexpected insights and revelations. Cultural responses of this kind can easily lead to solutions to problems.
Defining the environment: The Environmental Handbook, 1971:
‘Listen friend’, he answered, ‘You are the environment, or part of it, and you are certainly a product of it, just as I am.‘ ‘The environment is the room, the flat, the house where you live: the factory, the office, the shop where you work; your road, your parish, your village, town or city: Britain, Europe, the world – even the space the world sails through. It’s the street where your children play, the park they take the dog in, the flowers, the trees, the animals and birds, the fields, the crops, the streams, the waterfalls.
The environment is the fish, the cliffs, the seashore, the sea itself, the hills and the mountains, the pubs, the bingo halls, the lanes, the motorways, the highways and byways, the farms, the rows of shops and houses, the dustbins, the historical buildings, the trains and buses and cars. It’s the music and dancing and peaches and cream. It is the insects, an empty tin can, aeroplanes, pictures, pollen and the leaves that fall from the trees. It’s the smoke from a fire, a wormcast on the lawn, a cigarette end in the gutter, books, papers, greenfly on the roses, the paint on your front door, unbreakable plastic, the rain on the roof, an empty beer bottle, the heather and the bracken and the butterflies. It is the air you breathe, the blue sky, peace and quiet, the clouds and the sun.’Barclay Inglis, 1971, The Environmental Handbook (ed John Barr), p. 217
Culture Declares the Climate Emergency
GroundJewels joins its sister organisation GroundWork, and many others, as part of ‘Culture Declares’ to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency
Read GroundWork’s blog post: https://www.groundworkgallery.com/culture-declares-the-climate-emergency/