Live and living colour
Aurelia Walcott loves colour. She loves the vibrant hues that she can add to a necklace, a bracelet or a pair of earrings to make them pop.
Aurelia is a very creative person and this is evident throughout the various facets of her life but particularly in her jewellery line Emme Rose, named from her birthstone, the emerald, and a family tradition.
“Rose is a family name. My mother’s side of the family has a tradition of having flowers on their names. My great grandmother was Daisy, my grandmother was Violet, my mother is Rosalie, her sister is Rose-Ann. I didn’t get that so I decided to take it,” she said, bursting into laughter.
“I wanted the name to sound like a person, I wanted it to sound personal, I didn’t want to use my own name because I have a vision for it in the sense that when I do put my name to it I want it to be a particular brand, a particular look and it’s not there yet, so for now Emme Rose, which a little more fun, colourful and what the brand needs to evoke right now,” the 28-year-old artist said with another laugh.
Sitting in the shade of the bandstand at Hastings Rocks by the Richard Haynes Boardwalk, feeling the cooling breeze blowing off the sea on a picture perfect day, Aurelia told EASY about her love for art, which started when she was at The St Michael School; her journey to Cuba; her stint at the Barbados Community College (BCC), where she is presently teaching printmaking; and her goal of becoming a conservator.
“I chose from early to be in an artistic profession – I guess from fourth form when I knew I wanted to do art as a CXC subject because the way they were structured then, in terms of choices, I had to drop certain things. I actually wanted to be an architect but I couldn’t choose art and technical drawing and I knew I wanted to do art.
“I left school, went to BCC, was there for a while and paused studies to do a stint in Cuba. I majored in printmaking and that’s what I teach now. I came back, graduated from BCC and since then I’ve worked in galleries, with Risee [Chaderton], a photographer, and I’ve been doing different things within the art world in Barbados. I’ve done a few shows and this [jewellery] is the latest venture,” she said.
Aurelia said that business has been slow but that’s because she has not been pushing herself or the line as she knows she should.
“My sister Kembali is my driving force. Between the hobby and the business she’s the one that pushed me in that transition . . . . She really is a big support. She doesn’t help me make a thing but she’s always saying, ‘You can do, you can do’ rather than, ‘Go find a job behind a desk,’” Aurelia said laughing, also disclosing she taught herself to make jewellery.
She explained how this creative process works.
“In art school, colour was my favourite class, so colour is the number one thing. I love matching colours to see what harmonies work together, how to make contrasts, how to make them pop. That’s one of the first things I look for.
“Then because I work with a lot of gemstones, I look to see which gemstones interact with each other, different shapes, and I’ll go from there. It’s not necessarily that I want to do a sea inspired theme. Sometimes it works like that but that’s few and far between. Colour is the primary inspiration, and shape,” she said.
There has been a good response to her jewellery wherever she goes and she likes interacting with the public but juggling three jobs is not easy.
“It’s fun in a sense; it’s always busy. It is a purpose. I go to a few shows. I supply a few boutiques . . . . I get what I expect from it when I put the effort forward, which is not saying I’m putting the effort forward. When you’re dividing time between different jobs and dividing my attention, when I give it my attention it does give back, especially when I do the shows and get feedback and meet new clients and customers. I get out what I put in,” Aurelia said.
Ultimately though, she wants to be a conservator.
“I would love to work with the Barbados Museum and their art collection to preserve it for generations to come because that’s one of the things that inspired me,” she said reflectively.
That plan is still in the making and until then she will continue with her art and expressing her creativity. (Green Bananas Media)