Dynasty tells the story of Auckland jeweller Octavia Cook's fictitious jewellery company Cook & Co, a play on Tiffany & Co. The exhibition also reveals Cook's new direction following the company's staged demise. Documenting the company's rise to fame, its alter ego, cheap take off, dramatic collapse and subsequent rebirth, Dynasty reflects all the dramas that family companies entail.
Through her jewellery, Cook often makes references to her own family, deceased pets plus members of the Royal family and people and moments of historical significance. Playing on her own 'plain' last name, Captain Cook was launched into service for the brand inspiring its nearly maritime theme.
Cook's choice of materials also often catches us of guard, setting colour photocopies in sterling silver and pure gold chains made from acrylic. Challenging conventional notions of value, Cook conceptualises traditional costume jewellery and the trophies of the rich and famous and contends that jewellery should be worn to ensure its unique social role.