This collection was conceived and realized by Matthew in collaboration with Swarovski. It contains fifteen hyper-real sculptures of flora and fauna, accompanied by fifteen opulent pieces of wearable sculpture. Together they build an astonishing invocation of the human experience, represented by the superb intricacy of nature, made material through objects of desire. Objects of desire and dedication: these flora and fauna have each been created over several hundred hours of meticulous labour, while the project as a whole, including the fifteen pieces of wearable sculpture, took over three years to produce.
In Jeweled Garden, Matthew has simulated nature to stimulate our senses. He has always been fascinated with violating and distorting our visual comfort zone, exposing us to a universe of topsy-turvy seduction. The sculptures from Jeweled Garden continue in that vein: playfully confounding us, twisting matter, material and meaning. From one angle they look like creatures and flowers—elegant, noble, bordering on the divine. From another they reveal what they are: monstrous organisms that challenge our sensory encounters with the natural environment.
All of our senses are activated through this direct confrontation between what we see and what we know, between the solidity of our bodies and the fluidity of our souls. That was Matthew’s aim: mutating nature so it could reach beyond the known boundaries of sensory experience; forcing the viewer to think about (and feel) a new frontier of receptivity while, at the same time, holding them captive, beguiling them with sumptuous precision as vibrant and complex as nature itself.
Matthew achieves this through the combination of traditional jewelry craftsmanship and contemporary visual culture, connecting them with 21st Century consumerism. At the core of it all, Matthew wants us to desire them, for that to be the fulcrum upon which these sculptures pivot and the accompanying pieces of jewelry hang. And they will be desired: extending into the next century, and the next, remaining as vibrant and otherworldly as they are now, offering traces of our affinity with the natural world, and the nature of our inner worlds.