Nadine JarvisProduct Designer (1982- )
Design Mart - Design Museum Exhibition
20 September 2006 - 7 January 2007
Literally starting with ‘zero’ – or rather the desire to explore immateriality and impermanence – Nadine Jarvis spent the final year of her BA design degree at Goldsmiths College in London experimenting with objects and materials that decompose over time and observing the emotional consequences of this degradation. The results of her studies – and her award-winning final degree collection – were a series of sombrely elegant receptacles for crematory ashes, of which Rest in Pieces and Bird Feeders were part.
Objectifying what is not there, or imperceptible to the eye, is a recurrent theme in Jarvis’ work. Born in London in 1982, Nadine Jarvis completed a foundation course at Chelsea College of Art before the concept-driven design degree where she developed other objects, including greeting cards, rings and radiator adornments that juxtapose the visible with the invisible and theories of solidity and temporality through design.
The ceramic urns and bird feeders redress conventional methods of commemorating the deceased, ultimately removing the responsibility of ash scattering by allowing external factors to decide when to lay someone to rest. Each Rest in Pieces ceramic urn, suspended on a perishable thread, will eventually fall to the ground – smashing the container and scattering the ashes to the wind, while leaving a permanent memorial behind. The Bird Feeders – made from either solid castings of bird food, beeswax and ash or rotationally moulded with the ash encased inside – encourage birds to either eat and naturally purge the ash or peck through the edible exterior and allow the ash to be released over a period of time.
© Design Museum, 2007
Q. When did you first become aware of – and interested in – design?
Q. Why did you decide to study design?
Q. What was the influence of your design education on your work?
Q. What were your design objectives as a student?
Q. How have your objectives evolved since leaving Goldsmiths?
Q. Which of your early projects was most important in defining your approach to your work?
Q. How did the design of the Rest in Pieces and Birdfeeder projects develop?
The Rest in Pieces and Birdfeeder projects were a continuation of this interest and came from my research into the death of materials and concepts of nothingness. It developed as quite a ‘back-to-front’ project, I wanted materials to lead my project and so I started gathering interesting materials and experimented with them – watching them fall apart over time. I started to think about death in terms of grief, and how the degradation of materials could be used to aid that grief, and imagined how the deceased could be reincarnated through the design of memorial objects.
Q. How important is narrative to your work?
© Design Museum, 2007
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