Womanhood Locket



At the time the piece was commissioned Barbara and I had been sharing our ideas about myth, legend and rites of passage. It was important to Barbara as socio-sculptural significance and to myself as something which was missing in our "disposable" culture.

My daughter, Josie was born and raised in a Maori community in NZ. Celebrations of birthday, marriage and death were significant events shared by the community. When we moved to Brisbane the change in cultural values was evident and as Josie was approaching womanhood it was important to mark this rite of passage both as a family celebration and a symbolic event.

My partner and I both share the concept of Earth as Mother. The uncut precious stones and alluvial gold fragments were given up by the Earth to us in our prospecting ventures in New Zealand and Central Queensland. It now seemed fitting that Barbara should use them in a womanhood piece for Josie.

John Macan


Many people in this society fail to recognise the natural transition into Womanhood. It seems to be a time for seclusion and embarrassment. I have grown up to believe that natural occurrences need to be celebrated to mark the beauty of nature. For me this piece represents a celebration of the beauty of nature. It signifies an understanding and happiness which is not usually expressed.

Josie Macan

the brief - He handed me the materials to use for his daughter's locket - the panned gold flakes were kept inside a tiny glass bottle, itself inside another slightly larger glass bottle which held the sapphires. The pure gold inside the rough gem. He handed me the design solution.

Barbara Heath


please email barby@co-opones.to for more info

1997-2001 Barbara Heath