Tineke Van der Eecken is Executive Officer at the Lung Institute of Western Australia and a practicing jewellery artist
Tineke Van der Eecken is a Perth based Belgian born jewellery designer maker. She originally trained as a Criminologist in Belgium before leaving Belgium to work in social justice projects in Africa. Moving to Australia in 2001 provided her with the opportunity to pursue a creative career and take up jewellery design and fabrication. Central to her artistic practice is nature in its most precious form. Her work which is exhibited regularly, has evolved around the use of rare gemstones from Africa, organic casts from West Australian seed pods to bits of bark from endangered species. Each piece of jewellery eternalizes an object in silver and/or gold, and tells its story. Tineke Van der Eecken joined the Lung Institute of Western Australia in 2009. As a former smoker, she is fascinated with lung health science which inspired her to do research at SymbioticA.
Mouse lungs are vital to the research into incurable lung diseases. A current project the Lung Institute of WA under Winthrop Prof Y Gary Lee tests the efficiency of novel therapeutic targets in murine models of lung cancer. Tineke Van der Eecken utilizes lungs used in this research project to transform into wearable jewellery in precious metals. The investigation centres around ways to produce wax models from the lungs as well as their internal tracheobronchial structure. This requires the use of corrosion casting and plastination techniques, 3D digital manipulation, plotting in wax and lost wax casting in precious metals.
The results of this research will form the basis of a new body of art in jewellery, illustrating the importance of lung health science.
Image: Ring in 18Kt gold - Organic cast from watsonia seed bulb - T Van der Eecken (photo Victor Franz).