The Chandelier of Lost Earrings Sharon Campbell and Lauren Sagar2012 - 2013
Awarding Winning Project
National Lottery awards Best Arts Category 2014
Won British Women Artist award 2015
The Chandelier of Lost Earrings was initially stimulated by a collaboration with staff at St Mary’s Maternity Unit (at Central Manchester University Hospitals), where staff were asked to donate lone earrings, which had formerly been a pair, and which had some emotional resonance or significance for the wearer.
A successful press and social media campaign followed, gathering in many thousands of earrings over 12 months. The act of individuals contributing something of personal value, towards a communal project to form something new, found strong resonance amongst hundreds of people (in the main women) locally, nationally and internationally. Sharon Campbell engaged with people in a number of other ways: a series of partnerships were formed with artists, organisations and businesses donating materials, individuals offering financial support and the artwork itself was made with practical help from a several volunteers, during a residency at Lime (the arts and health programme based at Central Manchester University Hospitals).
"The earring I am enclosing was given to me by one of my sons ... to match the necklace my husband bought to wear at my Ruby Wedding in 2004 when we went on our first cruise to celebrate – a very special memory."
Earrings were gifted to the project alongside a few written words about the personal significance of the earrings. The sculpture itself comes to represent many individual stories woven together into one object heavy with meaning and significance for those who took part. It drips with glittering jewels, delicate threads of fine chain cascade down the curvaceous structure and close-up the individual earrings form a detailed textured surface made out of the myriad of small forms in every colour.
Jewellery is ultimately deeply personal: earrings are often gifts to the wearer, they are chosen to adorn and make beautiful. Sharon Campbell and Lauren Sagar transcended the individual and personal by integrating the individuality of these special objects and the personal stories attached to them, by synthesising the component parts into an evocative sculptural work that stands alone and speaks of human emotion, memory, loss, beauty and love.
"It has been brilliant hosting the chandelier at Towneley Hall. I was very aware that it had been well received in its previous venues, but even with that in mind I have been surprised but just how popular it has been during its time here. A fair number of people I've spoken to have said that they've made the trip to Towneley especially to see it, some of them for the first time."
Rebecca Hill, Curator Towneley Hall Gallery
The Chandelier Of Lost Earrings has to date been seen in a range of settings to date; installed in The Summerhouse at St Mary’s Maternity Unit, Federation House, Manchester, Towneley Hall Gallery Burnley, 20:21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe and Piccadilly Place in Manchester, Rochdale Touchstones Gallery, Swiss Cottage Library London and the Glasgow Women's Library.