Bursts of bullet wounds, cuts, slashes and gashes all feature prominently in Super Fertile’s Fall 2011 Murder Jewelry Collection. Made of rubies, sapphires and garnets, the collection is intended to open a dialogue about the effect of violence on innocent civilians victimized in the name of religion, justice, nationalism or political affiliation. The look-book is both beautiful and chilling. It was designed to resemble journalistic documentations of violence. Showcasing multi-ethnic models smeared with blood and draped with the collection, the photos are haunting.
Confrontational art seems to run in the family. Super Fertile’s Creative Director Kali Arulpragasam, a British Tamilian of Sri Lankan descent, is controversial musical artist M.I.A.’s sister. Kali explained the inspiration for the collection in an interview with Irenebrination, “We recently watched the horrors of the Sri Lankan Civil War: 40,000 to 70,000 Tamils were killed in 2009 without anybody preventing this slaughter. Why is it that lives are lost in such tragedies and the media do not cover it, while the Western world, the UN and Human Rights organisations sit and watch? I find it disturbing and scary to live in a world where something like this happens and millions of people ignore it pretending they’re living in a bubble. I wanted to express this horror through my pieces and also my concern about the psychological conditions of civilians caught up in wars, living in fear, being homeless, imprisoned in camps or raped and dehumanized.”
Kali Arulpragasam created something very beautiful out of something devastatingly ugly. Both the collection and the look-book are powerful works of art that transcend the typical transience of fashion. By targeting fashion consumers who might not normally be exposed to war crime issues, the jewelry also makes an important statement about the disparity of life-experiences between the haves and the have nots of the global community.