Traces of Absence / Nickel

Daniel & Arter Ltd / Nevada Silver: Silver platers and gilders’ catalogue. London and Birmigham circa 1900 + treated nickel silver.
113.5 x 87 cm
2017

An ornately formed silver spoon begins life as a flat sheet of metal, such is the triumph of craftsmanship. Here a catalogue of elaborately formed silverware – from the soup tureen to the coffee pot – is held in the sheet of its making. From the gleaming metallic surface, pages open of commoditised possibilities, before being seamlessly absorbed back into the sharp angles of their material. The edges of paper are silver, pages dubbed with an illustrious sheen, enhancing and announcing the wealth of their material. The flourishes of each object – the curves, embossing and filigrees – contrast to the smooth metal’s points and abstracting lines; a perfect clash of homogeneity.