Liam Hugh McRobert is an aspiring blacksmith/ knife-maker living in the outer regions of Paarl, Cape Town and McRobert’s creative inputs and designs are heavily influenced by things that have function and purpose.
McRobert explored his own experience with depression this year to delve into the deeper understanding of this depression to inform his body of work. He has tried to stay away from the symbology of momento mori and focus more on the aspect of something that is going through stages of decay. He is looking at the use of ‘dead’ materials, such a bone and wood, to communicate this idea of something that is able to have life once it has died, mirroring that the mind appears dead and useless when depressed although there is still potential for life within it.
McRobert is also looking to knives for his inspiration. In 2017 he had the privilege of working under renowned blacksmith-artist Conrad Hicks, and where he first learned to swing a hammer and did a short course in bladesmithing under ABS. He has been looking at jewellery making techniques within the construction and design of knives. He has also been looking at the reverse, and brings knife design into wearable pieces of jewellery.
The symbology used within these pieces are from the philosophy which McRobert explored in his research this year which is that starlight is the cure to depression. He looks at the idea of starlight being a beacon of hope which lays out in the distance that can both guide the individual and give them something to strive toward. There are many symbols of starlight within his pieces and they are meant to make a firm conversation between it and the darker side of the mind. McRobert seeks to apply the skills of Jewelllery design and manufacture to the production of finely crafted knives for the discerning collector.