This December, NOW Gallery on Greenwich Peninsula is delighted to present an outdoor portrait exhibition by artist Mah Rana, a homegrown artist from the Royal Borough of Greenwich, as part of her on-going project MEANINGS AND ATTACHMENTS. Peninsula Square will be transformed into an open-air gallery showing people from all walks of life from the Peninsula itself, proudly wearing a piece of cherished jewellery with a story of sentimental significance them. The exhibition comes at a timely moment when a tumultuous year reminds us that no matter their value, the small precious things become even more significant as we relish the poignant things that matter in life. Commissioned by NOW Gallery and available for all to enjoy from 8th December thanks to NOW Gallery’s determination to keep art open to all at this time, the exhibition brings to life the stories of Greenwich Peninsula’s creative community and visitors alike. For this public-participation project, Mah Rana has asked the question “Can you tell us about the jewellery you are wearing?” The resulting portraits feature people of all ages with treasured pieces of jewellery; not only decorative but also objects with historical and sentimental significance revealing personal narratives and the connections to precious things. The collection is part of an on-going photographic record which will be exhibited on the gallery’s facade throughout December 2020.
Of the origins of the project, Mah Rana says: “I created the ‘Meanings and Attachments’ project because I have enduring attachments to the jewellery that I own, and I was curious about other people’s stories and the connections they carry with them when wearing jewellery. Over the past eighteen years it has been humbling, and a joy, to listen to others share their stories as part of the project. Having carried out many ‘Meanings and Attachments’ events around the world, it was a pleasure to be invited to do a ‘Meanings and Attachments’ event at the unique location that is the Greenwich Peninsula; especially as it offered an opportunity to meet and hear stories from people of my home borough.”
Mah Rana has been asking the same question since 2002 with events so far held in 11 countries with over 2,000 participants, helping to create a global written, oral and photographic record of people’s personal connections to their jewellery. The project was recognised in 2014 where Mah Rana was awarded the Nobel Jewellery Peace Prize by Diagonal/Arts Projects, Sweden. The project has toured a number of notable institutions including Tate Britain, The Design Museums in London, Lisbon and Gothenburg, Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design in Tallinn, FAD in Barcelona, Kilkenny Arts Festival, and The Pratt Manhattan Gallery.
The outdoor exhibition is open to all to visit and forms part of the public space in Greenwich Peninsula, itself peppered with an inspiring public art trail that forms a key part of the local creative community. This December, it will also be complemented by a curated exhibition of final year work from the innovative Ravensbourne University.