Hi Vis Camo is a title I’ve held in my mind for a while now as I walk the line between obvious and undercover, real and fake, valuable and disposable, public and private, in my work. It also describes the two lines my work has taken of late; the series of ‘eyes’ and ‘skin patches’ which isolate and abstract surface details from the animal kingdom and reposition them on the human form.

To wear jewellery—particularly ‘contemporary’ jewellery—is to put your private life on display. It could be your true version of yourself or perhaps a trompe l’oeil alter-ego, either way you are inviting the outside world to interact with your body as a vehicle for your jewels. In response, my ‘eye’ pieces return the stare while the borrowed animal camouflage ‘skin patches’ attempt to distract from the body they cover. Out of their natural context however, both seem ridiculously incapable of doing the job they are meant to do!

While it sounds like a contradiction, hi vis camo is a thing—deer apparently can’t see red and orange wavelengths, so a camouflage pattern is enough to break up the shape of a hunters body against the bush, while fellow hunters (in theory) know not to shoot orange hi vis.

– Octavia Cook

Address

  • 147 Cuba Street
  • Wellington 6142