Stirred by a collection of diaries, bequeathed alongside hand-me-down stories, words and trinkets from a generation before, Jo Pond draws on evocative World War 2 artefacts to craft her own heirlooms. Almost in spite of itself, each static and inanimate object comes to embody the thoughts and energy of the artist, and draws the viewer in; recognition may bring about physical, emotional or intellectual engagement. The interpretation of this story, however, will be determined by the viewer, and Jo Pond embraces the potential for the items created to elicit a broad range of responses, from visitors of all generations.
Domestic bakeware, biscuit and medicine tins serve as visual references for the feminine domestic role of the wartime wife and mother. Leather from old wallets and worn bone tokens reference ‘worth’ in the pre-decimal sense. Materials which no longer hold value beyond their collectability are re-framed to provide the narrative; they become objects with which to tell the stories of wartime women.
Descended from generations of habitual collectors, Jo Pond embraces her legacy, working with misplaced memories to create jewellery and objects which pass on something indefinable, as the women before her passed on genes, mannerisms and traits. The writings of Lily Pond née Liberty, and the materials associated with the period around the Second World War, are incorporated and recreated to continue the line, sharing the essence of stories of the wartime domestic, stories which can no longer be shared by word of mouth.
For further information on this touring exhibition, visit rationedonline.co.uk