‘True Colours’


The ‘True Colours’ neckpiece is a large wearable tribal style necklace which contains 54 talismanic ‘eye’ beads incorporating Pride Flag colours – through this piece, Maggie Napier explores the themes of identity, self-expression and tribalism. The ancient Eye Bead is an ‘apotropaic’ object, believed to protect from evil or threat – this design is one of the earliest pieces of human adornment in glass. All beads are made using glass rods, especially scrap pieces which are ideal for small detailed work in Eye bead making; each piece is designed around a flag colour which performs as a visual indicator, semaphoring our gender, racial or national identity. This ‘tribal’ information can lead to our acceptance or rejection.

For this piece, Maggie used flame-worked multi-coloured glass beads with striated raised ‘eye’ detail and knotted leather.


Artist Bio

Maggie Napier is a glass artist, jewellery maker and workshop facilitator based in County Down. She uses a hot glass process known as ‘Lampwork’ or ‘Flamework’ which involves melting and sculpting individual glass rods in a torch flame to create her unique glass components. Her work combines an abstract, tactile, organic aesthetic with an appreciation of the historical role of glass beads as talisman, exchange and currency. Most recently her work has appeared in the Made In Ireland Exhibition, National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny 2022; Glass Bead Biennale Inaugural Exhibition, International Festival of Glass, Stourbridge 2022; Biot International Glass Festival, France, Sept 2020.