A CYCLE OF JEWELLERY ITEMS
filled with three aromatic substances: garden sage, clary sage and animal musk.
The aromas are released via an internal string or by rubbing the piece onto skin.
The smells are directed at the user, reminding them to observe their mood and body, encouraging dialogue.
Each aroma is matched to individual phases of a woman’s natural, biological cycle.
They are a reflection of the different stages: from those most energetic and cleansing,
through those associated with sexuality and the need to procreate,
to that concerning stress and the need to isolate oneself.
from Sanskrit r’tu, means monthly –
a recurring act culminating in a goal
I live in so called western culture and there is one word that describes it: ACCESSIBILITY.
It’s a 24/7 world, where the social norm is – to wash away your natural scent and to wear perfumed one – to mark your social status.
Most of the products, promise to give us freedom, by supporting our efficiency and access around the clock. Paradoxically, it becomes more and more distant from the feeling of your body and its natural rhythm. By analysing this phenomenon from my own perspective – woman of childbearing age – it seems that I should be available 24/7, constantly active, rested, hiding my weaknesses or volatility of the mood. This is far from the truth and has nothing to do with biology.
MOODBOARDS AND RESEARCH
I live in world created by white, privileged, non-menstruating gentleMEN. It’s a 24/7 world, where the social norm is to wash away your natural scent and to wear perfumed one. To mark your social status. It’s a world where emotions should be controlled and sexual accessibility is a currency.
It’s a world filled with products which help you to be active, effective, beautiful and to smell good… but it comes with a lack of self observation, awareness of natural body cycles. It’s a culture of denying instead of following the natural rhythm, a time of strict separation between mind and body, where the body is treated as a tool and mestruation blood is shown as a blue gel.
I’m privileged that I don’t have to hide in menstrual huts, [in some cultures – places created to isolate menstruating women] that the battle for gender equality gave me a wide freedom of choice. But I do feel ashamed that every month of my grown up life I was trying to reach existing standards, instead of creating my own. I should create those which consider the full spectrum of emotion:
pain and weakness,
happiness and unhappiness,
openness and isolation,
all on the same level, respectfully, without feeling guilty.
A WOMAN – BEING MENSTRUATING Cultural phenomenas: cottages insulating materials; menstruation as a manifesto; Open media coverage in Western culture – a woman clean and accessible; Education – importance of observing, learning and mental hygiene; menstruation as the theme of design and communication; mother-daughter bond, product-marketing.
FEMALE FORM Phases of the moon reference to the female cycle – cyclical time; so-called Goddess Mother, Cybele and Venus figurines; Early figurative presentation about exaggerated sexual characteristics; (ceramic figurines, carvings on rocks, places and objects of worship alleged) today read as symbols of femininity and honor; male-female element; ecstatic dance, ritual as a primary form of purification – centrifugal movement.
FORM AND METHOD inspiration: objects found on archaeological sites; rocks / minerals; organicity; original form of the calendar; developing methods of material: modeling, rooting, stamping; filling the air; wunderkamera character – cabinet of curiosities; visible sign of time and work such as: a trace hand, work/movement with clear intention; discovery-covering, transparency and flow
OBJECT – MIRROR OF EMOTIONS Body, time, senses, self observation, matter-object, feminine-masculine, volatility, form-emotions.
First of all, I was confronted with the challenge of communication. While I was using certain words: Menstruation, Ovulation, Premenstruation. I’ve made everyone to feel unnatural, embarrassing and uncomfortable. The body language, small gestures and voice timbre was telling me more than the words. And this made me even more curious.
It took me just one day to get from my inspiration – the life cycle of the star – to its connection with my natural body cycle. But the hardest part came after that. I was asking myself: “How can I find the proper field, form and language to describe it?“
It took my almost a one year to created basic system of self-observation fragrance. I matched up jewellery – which is close to the body, and the smell as a communication code, because of the strong associations with so called women’s world. I made jewellery as a distributor of the scent. Different aromas are used as a tool, not as perfumery ornaments. The visual aspect is result of: used techniques (casting, lost-wax, manual finishing), specifics of materials (resin, natural oils and waxes, cords) and analysis of the female cycle (number and volume of the objects in one set). RITU is designed for dialogue with our perception of time and physical rhythms, as well as for awareness of distinction between the sexes, in the era of striving for their equality.
from the first draft to the final description of the fragrance and scale system
The communication layer is based on self-observation of my own work, cycle and mood.
I had been self-recording during the process, that’s way I used self-portrait photography to emphasise intimate aspect of the project, even if it’s not perfect. Because it’s not perfect.
S M L
I can be much more effective when I get the rest my body demands, instead of hiding in my own contemporary menstrual hut pretending that I’m a gentleMAN not a gentle-WOMAN. I can make My Rhythm and own it, not let it own me.
identification, photo&set: Kamila Iżykowicz
School of Form, SWPS Poznan, Poland
Bachelor’s degree *cum laude
thesis: Communication of mood between cycles and modernity
tutors: Lucas Verweij and and Ewa Klekot
exhibitions and competitions
GRADUATION2, School of Form, Poznan, March 2016
make me! the international competition for young designers Lodz Design Festival, October 2016
Stand by! Polish Design Education on display during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, October 2016
Graduation Projects.eu International Design Review at Zamek Cieszyn [Poland]
selected for Design INDABA conference in Cape Town [RSA] in March 2017
Publication in 2+3D magazine