Ramon Puig Cuyàs.
The activity of creating is an adventure for me, which takes me away from the everyday, casting me beyond horizons of known and assured things. It doesn’t matter what medium we employ, whether it be jewellery or painting, music or writing, to create is to invent oneself, to create oneself.
Creating is my way of satisfying an indefinable need to transform, construct, illuminate, to turn the invisible into the visible and to be able to do so with my own hands. The act of creation is as though a journey to conquer an innermost sense of freedom, and to satisfy a deep desire to feel myself alive. I am impelled to commence each new work by the need to respond to a challenge, that of turning a pre-feeling into a real feeling. Planning and constructing is to live the experience of some moments of fullness and emotion.
Each piece of jewellery emerges after a long process wrought from repetition, rehearsal, elimination, selection and decision, as well as an evolution of feelings, emotions, certainties and doubts. A process which is an attempt to reveal, materialise something indefinable, as though an internal design, born of intuition, in order to turn it into an expression of consciousness.
Although I start each new work without any plan or prior schema, my most recent finished piece often stands as a model for me to use and so realise what I must look for next. Whilst drawing and making exploratory sketches, I attempt to go into a state of concentration, of active attention, in order to listen, feel or provoke an internal pre-vision. I search for a mental image which serves as a guide, though nothing is defined or specific. The drawings frequently serve to explore new paths and variations in composition, although it is when working directly with the materials that the dialogue becomes more intense.
Both experience and technical mastery facilitate a handling of materials, tools and hands with apparent ease, enabling their expression. I endeavour deliberately to leave in those traces and marks made through the working process, as they are the records of this dialogue. Working with my hands awakens in me a sense of humanity, it makes me more perceptive and sharpens the senses. Thought and clarity are almost always arrived at through action, they come with that dialogue between materials and shapes. Making is for me a way of thinking and I try to ensure that the result of this making be a testament, materialised through a piece of jewellery charged with the will to express.
I like to improvise when in contact with the materials, exploring their possibilities and stretching their limits. Working with a material allows me to assess results immediately and in a direct way. I attempt to make the process of creation one of flow rather than fight, such that solutions appear naturally, as though inevitable. However, at times the best results appear only after hard and persistent effort.
Formally, I need to structure my pieces on the basis of a strict compositional syntax which either comes close to, or gives the impression of polyphony. I seek a sound, or harmonies amongst the straight and curved lines, in the variations of planes and in the contrasts amid colours and materials. I try to create an order whereby the chaos of ideas and feelings reign.
It is possibly for this reason that most of my works are structured compositionally as separate elements, as assemblies, thereby creating virtual spaces rather than filled volume. I ensure that the object as a whole isn’t seen, not completely perceived at first sight, instead, the gaze wanders and runs around a subtle network of visual itineraries, exploring and discovering harmonious and contrasting relationships amongst the various parts of the object, making a necessary tempo for the gaze to linger on, staying in every corner of the overall composition. In this way the viewers gaze isn’t passive, rather it is participative.
For me, this sought compositional harmony is like a metaphor for the desire, the need, to reconstruct the harmony and equilibrium between man and nature. Making a piece of jewellery is to illuminate a microcosm that must take part in the balance and harmony of the macrocosm.
Colour has been a fundamental element in my work for many years, both part of my nature and my cultural and everyday surroundings. Colour gives me the opportunity to accentuate the expressive qualities of the composition.
Yet not all is harmony and balance, as tension and conflict are fundamental too for the act of creation to be fertile. Tensions and a conflict of feelings were the framework around which I worked to make the series Imago mundi and Utopos, between 2007 and 2010. Something that was there already suddenly emerged unexpectedly, giving a fresh thrust to creative strengths. Colour disappeared, black and white, with some grey tinges were then sufficient to stir up a much denser atmosphere in comparison with previous works. Black and white, shapes and materials, microcosms and macrocosms, all these established a suggestive dialectic, laden with meaning.
Everything, whether lines, planes, volume, textures, materials, colours, the technique employed, the very composition, all these elements become metaphor. Nothing should be gratuitous, everything has to be filled with meaning and the best method I know of to achieve this is through visual metaphor. The metaphor is a carrier for ideas, while I also like it because it does so in an ambiguous and imprecise way. It suggests symmetries and contrasts, it sets up subtle analogies, it contains implicit potential. The metaphor charges the piece of jewellery with various meanings, although it cannot, nor would want to, explain these meanings conceptually. It is precisely because of this lack of definition that the metaphor helps me to materialise in images all that pertains to the world of the non-definable, which tends to be much more interesting than the rational and definable world.
Finally then, my work’s central aim is for the object produced by my hands to be more than just a form of expression, rather that it be a way of sharing with others the experience lived through my working process, of all that I’ve found, discovered and made visible. And also to suggest to the wearer that the simple gesture of putting on a piece of jewellery can in itself also become a metaphor.
Ramon Puig Cuyàs.
Translation: Anne Michie