Painter and sculptor Not Vital is known not only for the diversity of cultures in which he works, but also the materials. This approach is typifed by his 2003 work Camel, made up of the remains of an entire Niger camel enclosed within sixteen silver orbs. Originally from the Engadin region of Switzerland, Not Vital leads a semi-nomadic existence, living and working between residences in Sent (Switzerland), Beijing, Agadez (Niger), NotOna (Chile) and New York.
The artist’s work in jewellery is an extension of his career-long exploration of materiality and transformation. Ring is formed of a single continuous piece of twisted 18k gold, drawing on the age-old technique used to make the torques (neck rings) of the Bronze Age. The single length of gold, plant-like, twists and curls. Simultaneously, the ancient method of the ring’s creation is a reminder of the continuity of transformation in the natural and physical world. When asked why he had chosen to make a piece of jewellery in this form, Not Vital recalls how impressed he was when he saw the same formation through a camel’s nose at a market in the Middle East.