Microcosmos – a piece of digital jewellery
The piece is a hand-held piece of jewellery containing tiny microfilm images from both countries that are significant to the individual. One can view the layers of microfilm with a magnifying glass and interact with different layers by manually focusing on different elements.
An LED light activated by the pressure of the palm allows one to peek briefly through the glass in short bursts. The research proposes that the context of the miniature creates a particular kind of space that is separate to our everyday life, creating the opportunity to find a ‘private time’(Stewart, 1993). The research argues that an intimate object that holds fragments of what is personally important to an individual could evoke both longing, but also empowerment through connection to one’s personal anchor points. Microcosmos is originated from the Greek words mikròs kósmos which means ‘small world’. In literal terms, microcosm is a world in miniature and metaphorically, the word can be used to describe a small group of significant others.
The form of the piece resembles a rock formation that draws inspiration from one of the participant’s love for mountaineering. It is made of modelling putty and small bits of found coal from Newcastle. The viewing part is a part of a found Stanhope thimble. Stanhopes or “peeps” are miniature photographic lenses, incorporated in different objects from the mid-19th century onwards and thimbles was an example of such objects (Scott, 2017). The magnifying glass, that accompanies the piece, has the form of a mirror that both reflects and reveals aspects to one’s sense of self, allowing someone to blend the images or focus in certain parts of the pictures.