The Bespoke Worlds of an Artist, Curator and Jeweller

Conception, creativity and communication...

Cassandra hosted artist Luke Martineau and V&A curator Claire Wilcox for her final "conversaciones" of the festival. Claire is intrinsically linked to story-telling and discovery, which was powerfully displayed in her curation of the V&A Frida Kahlo exhibition - the first time these artefacts had in fact left Mexico, after being kept under lock and key for 50 years after Frida Kahlo's death. Describing this whole process to us, Claire reminisced on unveiling the "astonishing trove of items that were extremely personal" to Frida. Claire wanted visitors to arrive at the exhibition and feel instantly transported, providing an incredible glimpse into the life of this iconic Mexican artist.

Communicating this sense of excitement and creating dialogue (and the struggles that come with this) sparked great conversation between all three Artists. For Claire, the painstaking curating process seems more like a complex mosaic than a painting, with the "psychic danger of falling too deeply" into the world of her subject. Frida was an iconic example of this, as a subject so raw, direct and powerful. Luke described becoming "emotionally bound up" in his commissions too, with his conflicts arising in deciding when to finish a painting, considering every mark you make and capturing that freshness and joy right till the end. Surrounded by the vibrant colours of Luke's paintings at Cassandra's store, some of which depicted one of Cassandra's infamous Day of the Dead Parties, we could experience this joy for ourselves, absorbing the Mexican energy and sense of celebration. However scrupulous the work of these artists, it was clear to see and hear that they all shared unanimous love for the wonderful possibility of creation.

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