Forced to examine ourselves in ways many normally avoid, Rituals as a project sought to capture the moment in which we our lives become devoid of distraction and we become intimately aware of ourselves. By photographing people’s personal beauty rituals I attempted to capture this awareness, this intimacy that occurs only when one is forced to examine their own body, the most basic thing that is theirs, and build upon it.
Artist Rebecca Jewell uses a painstaking process involving a photo-plate, ink, an etching press and ethically-sourced feathers to create these beautiful and incredibly delicate works of art. Her creations are inspired by the native birds and feather artifacts that she first encountered living in New Guinea for a year in 1982. It was there that she learned how important both the birds and their feathers are to the native people and saw the amazing headdresses that they made.
"Of the pieces she says: ‘Over the past years I have drawn and painted feathers and birds, and explored how they have been used to enhance and decorate humans. I am also aware of the plight and precarious status of many species, which I wanted to represent in the delicacy of the image on the feather.’"
Rebecca is now an artist in residence at the British Museum, Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas where she “creates work that explores the shared histories between people that create certain artifacts, the explorers, anthropologists and travelers who obtain them, and the museums that house them.”