In a 30 year artistic exploration into what it means to be human, Roet consider her jewellery as a form of performance art in which the wearer is an active participant. The I Am Ape jewellery collection of cuffs, rings, brooches and neck pieces is by turns playful and daring. Like much of the animal kingdom humans use adornment to arouse, attract, identify and forewarn. What distinguishes human display is the urge to imbue inanimate objects with symbolism and personal association. Gems are used to commemorate anniversaries, signify fidelity but also to bring luck and confer power. Citrine, for instance, promises happiness and success. A favourite stone among royalty amethyst has long been a positive symbol of purity, trust and grace. The ancient Greeks believed the purple gemstone could even prevent intoxication.
We are all apes, is artist Lisa Roet’s clarion call in I am Ape, a new monograph of her three decade career.