Profile view of Cerulean Odyssey, 40 x 20 x 20cm, sterling silver, topaz, Australian blue sapphires, blue sapphires, white sapphires, gold vermeil, patina, 2015

Profile view of Cerulean Odyssey, 40 x 20 x 20cm, sterling silver, topaz, Australian blue sapphires, blue sapphires, white sapphires, gold vermeil, patina, 2015

Exhibited at the University of Queensland (UQ), 7 - 28 September, 2015 and at the 2015 Brisbane MND Symposium, October 24, 2015.

Cerulean Odyssey was created to illustrate hope and victory over the devastating effects of motor neurone disease (MND). This sterling silver object is inspired by the blue cornflower, or Centaurea cyanus, an Australian wild-flower, which despite it’s fragile appearance is able to withstand all elements of nature. The flower, with it’s star-like blossoms of brilliant blue, is one of our most striking wild-flowers. As with the flower, people with MND show courage and strength of character, dealing with the devastating changes that occur to their neurons and muscles in their bodies. I created this impression of the cornflower with points of light in the flower’s head incorporating a combination of topaz and blue and white sapphires. Australian blue sapphires highlight the centre of the primary flower and the bud yet to bloom. The root system, set with white sapphires, was inspired by the micro-structure of neurons.

Materials for this piece were generously funded by Thermofisher Scientific. The completed work has been used to promote awareness of MND and MND research and will be sold by to raise money for MND research.

Currently, an estimated 1,900 people in Australia have been diagnosed with this progressive and terminal neurological disease with two people dying each day. 

Central flower of Cerulean Odyssey. An outer halo of topaz surrounds inner settings of white and blue sapphires with a larger Australian blue sapphire at the centre

Central flower of Cerulean Odyssey. An outer halo of topaz surrounds inner settings of white and blue sapphires with a larger Australian blue sapphire at the centre

Sterling silver pin created with Australian blue sapphire matched to the central sapphire in Cerulean Odyssey

Sterling silver pin created with Australian blue sapphire matched to the central sapphire in Cerulean Odyssey

Central flower of Cerulean Odyssey. An outer halo of topaz surrounds inner settings of white and blue sapphires with a larger Australian blue sapphire at the centre

Central flower of Cerulean Odyssey. An outer halo of topaz surrounds inner settings of white and blue sapphires with a larger Australian blue sapphire at the centre

 
Australian blue sapphire amidst organic sterling silver and gold vermeil setting

Australian blue sapphire amidst organic sterling silver and gold vermeil setting

Roots of Cerulean Odyssey inspired by neuromorphology are set with white sapphires

Roots of Cerulean Odyssey inspired by neuromorphology are set with white sapphires

 


Cerulean Odyssey MND brisbane symposium

Cerulean Odyssey on display behind speakers at the Motor Neurone Disease Symposium 2015 on October 24 at the University of Queensland. This event included international speaker Nancy Frates, mother of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge pioneer Pete Frates, for whom the pin was created.  This symposium allowed world leaders in MIND and ALS research to communicate their findings with both Australian scientists, the MND community and the general public.


Cerulean Odyssey was first hand made in wax before being cast in solid sterling silver. The final sterling silver forms were reassembled into a single sculpture and finished using techniques used for jewellery fabrication and stone setting. 

The images and movie below are from the creation of this piece.