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.

Rationed opened at the Vittoria Street Gallery, in Birmingham’s School of Jewellery. It was launched with a ‘talking practice’ event, hosted by Zoe Robertson and in conversation with Sian Hindle. The discussion was introduced with a poetry reading by Jo Pond.nannys

For Annie Davidson and Lily Pond, my Grandmas,
Glenthorpe Road & Woodville Road, Morden, South London, 1940
You sat
In the cupboard under the stairs
Babe at heel, babe at breast
Babe on lap, babe to be
Waiting and listening
In prayer
The stairs were your Anderson

You left, when the door blew in

4o/c, 5 o/c 8 ‘til 4.30
Raids logged like shorthand
As you sat
Shared shelter visits
Interspersed with daily rituals
The dining table limits
A safe haven for three

Lest we forget
Your kin ran across the Bridge of London
Hands above heads
Bombs falling around them

You pawned jewels for food
Knitted socks with next door
And looked to the garden gate
Longingly
For son and husband, post war

Now, just whispers of memories of stories
And jaded diary pages
Corroborated by archives
We sit together
Through hand-me-downs
Stored in diamonds
And trinkets
And pointless belongings in boxes

A suitcase of photos of unnamed faces
Tins of oddments with browned sticky tape labels
And your handwriting

Inherited blood and belongings
We’ve touched the same items
Displayed the same mannerisms
Echoed shared experiences

When our line ends
We will no longer repeat the same habits
No longer pass down the same genes
Or the desire to hoard
We will leave collectively
A legacy in objects                     - Jo Pond

In May this year, the exhibition travelled to LA Joaillerie par Mazlo – Paris, where it was beautifully curated by Celine Robin. The exhibits, being mainly made of steel, were located within exquisite showcases and held in place with hidden magnets. The works were juxtaposed with images from WW2 and each showcase displayed daily excerpts from the 1940 diary of Lily Pond. You can see images of this exhibition on The Exhibition page.