Pierre Cavalan’s jewellery is exotic, in its overall impression but comfortably familiar in its inner detail. His ironically architectonic and grandiose constructions resembling medals and other former expressions of social adhesion sit more or less within the post-modern genre of appropriation.
Cavalan evidently ridicules jewellery which is worn to signify membership of an institution or society. He parodies military decorations insignia and ceremonial regalia, hinting that they have provided sentimental glue but carry unconsidered meaning. Banal symbols, wartime souvenirs and magical tokens are all brought together, incorporating found or salvaged objects, which has not value in themselves but which benefits from the rich jewel like ornamentation that their accretion bestows. All this elements are woven into the web of ironic social and political commentary that is his signature.
David Watkins 1999
Professor of Goldsmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at Royal College of Art in London
Design Source Book