Patricia Niemann - Goldsmith and designer for gemstones, jewellery and studio glass Patricia Niemann - Goldsmith and designer for gemstones, jewellery and studio glass

Patricia Niemann

“Although my main occupation is the making of one-off fine jewellery, I am particularly interested in the human body and its adornment in a wider sense, considering anatomy and theatre. This work is more sculptural, explores ‘wearability’ of jewellery or is ‘unwearable’ sculpture directly related to the human body. Anthropology research and human fears always have an influence on this kind of work.

Recent work is based on my experiences of the Far North of Scotland: The dramatic beauty of the coastal landscape, the relentless weather, the ancient history and themes of decay, human burial and archaeology.”

This work revolves around project themes, which are occasionally revisited. The most recent body of work is ‘Deer & People’.

Deer & People

Red Deer are an iconic species in Scotland and internationally. Wide-reaching implications and controversy are attached to red deer, their numbers and welfare, land ownership and land management, stalking and culling, tourism and recreation, culture, economy and commerce, ‘wild land’, as well as forestry, agriculture and road traffic statistics. There is historic documentation and prehistoric evidence for associations with humans and the use of deer antlers for adornment, ritual and as tools.

Red deer antlers are made from bone, not horn. They are status indicators and sharp powerful weapons for male deer and essential for procreation. Antlers are considered hunting trophies, but they are also naturally shed during a limited time of year. Modern stem cell research is very interested in antler-growth, but more historically antlered deer have been symbols for both male and female archetypes. The male aspect is the antlered stag and its aggressive behaviour during the rut or mating season, the female one is due to the deciduous nature of antlers showing a cycling of growth, death and rebirth.

The resulting body of work was photographed on a male model in a studio. However, the research and work has led to further connections, opportunities and ideas, so the project is ongoing. Recently the pieces have also been photographed on a female model with gamekeeping background. Those images were taken in a stately home and out on the moor.