Anna Butcher (Asimi)

Originally from the UK, my first experience of making jewellery was in Athens, Greece. Enraptured by this craft, I returned to London for several years to study metal-smithing at Guildhall University. Over the years I learnt more skills from jewellers in Morocco and Senegal. Since my return to rural Greece in 2004, my immersion in nature has infiltrated my work. Not having easy access to precious materials or new tools, I have learnt to adapt my tools to my specific needs, and to incorporate natural materials (some degradable) within my precious pieces. This juxtaposition of the enduring with the ephemeral reflects my feelings living in such a wild place at the mercy of the extreme forces of nature, and through these pieces I feel I have found my voice. Over the years, I have exhibited throughout Europe and continue to create collections from my small workshop in the Southern Peloponnese.

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Killing Fields necklace

Date of Creation: February 15, 2023

List of Materials: Spent brass cartridge bases, Patinated silver, 18 carat gold, Purple sapphire, Cognac diamonds

Dimensions: L 48cms, H of drop 8cms, W of cartridges 1cm

Photographer's Name: Anna Butcher

Conceptual Statement: This is the centre piece of my “Killing Fields” protest against the senseless killing of wild birds and animals which I embarked on after finding an inordinate amount of bullet cartridges during my mountain walks. They were everywhere: hunting is part of the culture in remote Greece. Making jewellery using the cartridges seemed the most powerful but least aggressive way to express my horror. This is not a place where you go out and confront armed hunters! I started collecting the cartridges - from shot guns, rifles, even automatic weapons which are fired into the air at weddings, funerals and baptisms here. The gunfire is endless. I combined the cartridges with silver, gold and precious stones. Losing myself in this juxtaposition of unexpected materials and giving them new purpose helped vent my horror at the pointless wasting of innocent life. I photographed the necklace on this rock which is obviously a favorite for hunters, and where I found dozens of cartridges.

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Killing Fields ring

Date of Creation: 22/10/2022

List of Materials: Spent brass cartridge, Silver, Electroformed copper

Dimensions: Ring size 7.5, H 6cms, W 1.75cms

Photographer's Name: Anna Butcher

Conceptual Statement: This ring is another piece in my “Killing Fields” protest against the hunting of wild birds and animals. Here I try to evoke the never-ending cycle of life: that around the discarded litter of the hunters, twigs rot, flowers continue to grow and nature will always fight back. I photographed the ring on a lichen covered rock where I had found not only cartridges left behind, but also drops of blood from the clutch of dead birds that had been shot and retrieved. The deep red of the anemone petals insinuate the barbarous purpose of the bullets that were once encapsulated in the shells.

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Killing Fields earrings

Date of Creation: 15/01/2023

List of Materials: Spent brass cartridge bases, Silver, Fake fur

Dimensions: H 8cms W 0.8cms Depth of pod 0.7cms

Photographer's Name: Anna Butcher

Conceptual Statement: These earrings are more overt in their protest against the cruelty of hunting wild animals. Part of my “Killing Fields” collection, I used fake fur emerging from the silver flowers to evoke the remains of foxes, hares, pine martens & others that have been shot for sport and then just left there - not even used for food. This is a macabre and sickening sight when out walking in the serene beauty of nature, and I wanted to show the brutality of the cartridges next to the fluffiness of the animals that had been killed so pointlessly. I photographed these earrings atop a cushion of wild fennel, which is where I usually find the cartridges from the killing of mammals, along with their carcasses.

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