Weaving visual stories with ribbons and memories, Aubrey Allison

One of the wonderful elements of living in Lacoste is the happy occasion when my path crosses that of a talented art student from Savannah College of Art & Design (who study for eight weeks at a time here as part of the SCAD study abroad programme). One of the very first students I met when I moved here was the beautiful (inside and out) photography and writing major Aubrey Allison. In the winter of 2011, I had created my very first teeny tiny collection of ribbon cuffs using the first ribbons that had been given to me by my husbands grandmother. Each sumptious morsel of cut velvet 1880s silk ribbon, no larger than 20cm of each design, was just enough to create a bracelet and no more.


ribbon 6

When I initially received these ribbons, I didn't really know how I was going to transform them into jewellery, just on their own they were magnificent, they didn't need to be embellished  and yet I couldn't bear the idea of them lingering in a dark box gathering dust.

I had a mission - I had to create with them and make them be worn and loved again.

I've made jewellery since I was 9.5 years old, but had never worked with textiles before, never mind 120 year old ribbons.  It was a challenge, especially trying not to destroy antique ribbons in the process - eek! but isn't that what makes life interesting, the constant learning, making mistakes and finding your way?

ribbon 4

Months of trial and error later, I finally finished my first collection and felt ready to open my etsy shop but taking product photographs was something I lacked the confidence to do myself. So I reached out to SCAD Lacoste and asked if any of their students might be interested in helping shoot the first collection and in late October, just as Autumn arrived, the wonderful Aubrey answered my prayers.

aix en provence

Aubrey arrived down to my humble studio space and she listened to my story, calm, generous and giving.

I should have known by the red ribbons laced into her boots, this was my kind of girl.

She took my work and the stories of silk into her heart and she shot the most incredible photographs of my jewellery.

aubrey montage 800

I always said she ruined me for ever and ever. No-one else would ever get me like she did and translate it onto a photograph.

ribbon 3

As a small gift of thanks I put together a little package of our family ribbons.

A few weeks later, I went up to see her end of term exhibition and was shocked, she had incorporated our family ribbons into the most beautiful collages. Each ribbon accompanied a photograph she had shot during her eight week term in France.

They were so beautiful, moving, personal and intimate. She had given me an even bigger gift using the ribbons I had entrusted to her.


ribbon 5

I thought of her work recently and felt it needed to be shared here.

ribbon 2

If you would like to see the full series and her other wonderful work you can visit her personal website here