Iona McCuaig is a jeweller, artist, researcher and educator. Her work explores the themes of narrative, value and materiality through a variety of outcomes. Historical references are strongly embedded in her practice and are often playfully juxtaposed with contemporary observations. This results as a reapportioning of history allowing for a social commentary of contemporary life. Researching topics and uncovering information is what drives her practice within the context of applied arts where she continues to use her training as a jeweller alongside mixed media techniques.
During her BA (Hons) at Glasgow School of Art (2008) she made a series of jewellery inspired by a collection of letters written during the Second World War. She developed a range of metal techniques such as etching, fabrication and patination to form wearable objects illustrating the letters. She continued this narrative practice during a two year artist residency at Friends’ School in Saffron Walden (2008 - 2010) were she produced jewellery which responded to social issues documented in the schools’ archives.
In 2016 she was awarded a fully funded scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art where she used practice based research to explore the college’s archives and collections. The outcomes from the project were a series of playful re-contextulisations of archive material that drew on various cultural, social and political influences.
McCuaig’s creative practice runs parallel with a career within art and design education. She has recently become a lecturer at the historical School of Jewellery in Birmingham and enjoys working with galleries and museums as an arts facilitator.