These pieces are from Octavia Cook's 2009 exhibition The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Queen, which marked a transition for this innovative New Zealand jeweller.
In 2002, Cook launched her brand Cook & Co. It was both an ironic nod to the famous global jewellery company Tiffany & Co, and 'a rebellion against the kind of expectations set up by the fashion and manufactured jewellery industries'. It was also a play on her famous namesake, explorer James Cook.
The 2009 exhibition temporarily 'killed off' the brand – although it is now re-emerging. Cook's interest in memory and mourning, place and identity continues, but with new directions.
This text was prepared for the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, June 2011.