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.
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.