Photographs Inspired by Earrings: An Update

Since my original blog on Photographs Inspired by Earrings back in 2018 I’ve felt motivated to both capture instances of earring-wearing as well as reassess my relationship to a hitherto indispensable accessory. I was in Portobollo Road market last Saturday when amongst the crowd this young woman caught my attention. Doll’s hands, severed at the wrists, had been transformed into earrings that adorned her face:

I asked whether I could photograph her as I was intrigued by the earrings and she told me she’d made them herself. When I got home and looked at the photos I noticed she was also wearing interesting silver chain necklaces including one with a key, which reminded me of the jewellery worn by Rizzy in my recent post on Celebrating Spring with Style.

I was thinking about creativity and earrings I’d witnessed since the start of the pandemic and remembered that last year during a local Black Lives Matter protest – a Taking the Knee vigil in Pond Square, Highgate – I photographed a woman holding a poster. On closer inspection she had what appeared to be tiny plastic bags containing miniature goldfish dangling from her ears. I spoke to her and she told me that she went by the name of Fish, so the earrings are very much part of her identity, or indeed an extension of it:

A close up of Fish and her fish earrings:

Both the doll hand and fish earrings to me suggest a playfulness and sense of nostalgia as well as an element of the surreal. I’ve also felt compelled to photograph a woman whose earrings expressed a powerful, affirming message, and a celebration of identity. I spotted her and her young son on the 88 bus. We had a chat, introduced ourselves -her name is Sarah – and we then followed each other on Instagram.

Sarah on the bus:

I’ve heard the term statement earrings over the years, suggestive of something bold and eye-catching. These literally are statement earrings, complete with empowering text:

Next a couple of photos I’ve taken which are part of the behind the scenes documentation of the London Lucumi Choir and where the initial trigger for me was the earring. Interestingly the women in the images are multi-disciplinary artists who also make jewellery.

Firstly, in the foreground, Jimena Pardo at a recording session in 2019:

Below, Sonia Sonayon, at a later recording session in 2019:

In my 2018 post I had written that I am never without earrings and feel naked without them. This is one thing that has changed in the last year as a result of the pandemic. The combination of wearing masks, headphones, earrings and typically a hat and/or sunglasses meant that there was a lot of ‘activity’ in that area and my earrings were often getting tangled or loosened. I’ve rescued a dropped earbud headphone many a time, but then lost one of my favourite earrings which had felt inevitable. So I found myself reluctantly accepting that something had to change and have for the main part placed my earrings on hold until mask-wearing is less needed.

Below, someone else’s lost earring, from my series of Objets Trouvés:

Having said that, yesterday I treated to myself to some cheap and cheerful beaded hoops from Zara. And, for the first time, I bought two pairs of the same earring, so that if and when I lose one, I’ll still have a pair!


Jimena Pardo –

Sonia Sonayon

Objets Trouvés Portfolio –

Behind The Scenes with The London Lucumi Choir –

More Photographs inspired by earrings:

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