Veronica Kwok's collection explores the theme of Protection, inspired by the armour and chainmail she saw at the Wallace Collection. She driven by the contrast reflected in the chainmail metalwork, as it challenges the traditional norms of metals materiality. Chainmail is made of a hard material that is traditionally used in jewellery and silversmithing, but was so flexible it was cloth-like, and durable enough to guard against slashes of a bladed weapon. She started experimenting with knitting and crocheting silver wire as a chainmail-like protection for the body, deciding to focus on the technique of crochet as it was more easier to manipulate than the knit pattern.
Veronica was also inspired by the gestures of the human body and the habits and positions humans engage in daily. This led her to focus specifically on the hands since they are one of the most expressive parts of the human body. She started to question what gestures she could make through the hands that will invoke a feeling of protection, as she wanted to incorporate hand gestures into her jewellery pieces, constricting the wearer’s hands into gestures of protection. Researching into various cultures, she incorporated protective hand gestures such as the Christian Cross and the Abhayamudra from various Indian religions into her collection. She also researched into gestures humans automatically make when needing to feel protected, such as covering one’s eyes when viewing a horror movie, or holding another’s hand.
The collection investigates into a total of 11 gestures of protection in 13 different pieces. Each piece in Veronica’s collection tells a story of one particular protective gesture, either with cultural meaning or is an unconscious automatic response from the human body. Although referencing armour and chainmail, the pieces come in light, cloth-like material, woven from thin metal wires that creates a delicate shield. The pieces give a sense of security to the wearer when worn, representing the trans-cultural wish for safety in our age of anxieties.