Hannahs collection ‘TOUCH OF THE SEA’ explores the human connection with nature and the fragility of this, especially now that we are in an Anthropocene age, where human kind's impact on the planet is recognised as being irreversible. In particular, with the endless miles of beaches close to her home, she would consider this connection with reference to the ocean, highlighting the beauty and preciousness of natural sea materials such as shells and seaweed, and by considering different ways these could be used to create a biophilic interaction.
The biophilia hypothesis is the idea that humans crave an intimate connection with nature – and there is no closer connection than wearing nature inspired jewellery next to the skin. Hannah hopes to create a very kinaesthetic sensory experience, compared to the feeling you have when holding a smooth pebble in the palm of your hand and immediately feel that touch of closeness to nature.
By exploring the biophilia connection that humans have with nature, creating a strong relationship with natural objects, she wanted to use nature and re- interpret it in a different way reconnecting people to nature through jewellery and art. We can find comfort in observing and wearing natural objects and materials. In doing this, the objects themselves become re-energized and transformed into an even more perfect whole. Biophilia design is most commonly used in architecture and large spaces, so it is interesting to see the interaction with the body on a smaller scale in skin on skin contact, as well as tracing the fluid lines to inspire or become jewellery.
Hannahs aim was to express this intimate connection by manipulating materials washed up by the ocean and collected from beaches near her home and on travels abroad to Vietnam and Thailand, an inspirational and infinite natural resource. Through exploring and designing directly from the quantities of shells and seaweed collected, and creating forms which the body can interact with, she hoped to re-create the simplest biophilic link. Hannah is not only interested in the human connection with nature, but how immersing ourselves in it can also impact the body and mind creating an escapism from the chaos of everyday city life.
All the pieces the collection have only been subtly adapted to fit on the body, and the materials themselves have lead the design process depending on their integral shape and how they relate to the body. By using common jewellery materials and techniques such as wires, chain, and casting, this is only used to highlight the natural beauty of the material and objects, whilst also experimenting with the raw materials themselves and the different ways we can balance or fit nature on or around the body.
Throughout this project, Hannah has recognised the need to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly in our otherwise Antropocene age and aims to produce jewellery with little or no environmental footprint. She have been especially mindful to ensure little or no further damage or manipulation is made to the precious natural materials she collected and by making her collection sustainable and ethical using recycled and eco-friendly precious metals to compliment the shells and seaweed themselves. Nature is an inherent part of the pieces in the collection, contrasting with a fully man made approach by keeping the natural forms untouched. They are inspired by the sea, respectful of the earth, and carry the most simple message of something both beautiful but fragile that has the potential to re-connect the wearer to the natural world.