Laura Potter

All work © 1997-2015

The Swap

The Swap was an experimental project initiated by Lin and myself, which had no concrete aim or objective at its inception. We agreed to exchange items of jewellery and wear them constantly, but not speak about the pieces or the process until the exhibition private view. We also agreed that the pieces could be old or new, big or small, valuable or worthless.

By complete accident we each selected very different objects. Lin gave me a new mass-produced gold bracelet and I gave her a sentimentally valuable silver ring. I wore the bracelet constantly, and because I knew that it held no value for Lin I became quite cavalier in my approach to it. I even lost it once. Gradually the bracelet became 'mine' and I grew rather fond of it. Lin had a much harder time taking care of my ring. She recognised it and understood its significance, which meant that her life began to revolve around making sure she knew where it was at all times. She had to develop reminders and rituals in order to safeguard the ring from both damage and loss. The ring never became hers. Consequently, both items are now mine.

At the time neither of us wore any jewellery regularly. The Swap taught us how it felt to become 'attached' to a piece (and not want to take it off) and how to feel burdened by a piece (which feels almost too valuable to wear).