The jewellery collection Gutter Glitter, comes straight from the gutters of Amsterdam, my own habitat. I’ve picked up from under my feet glittering objects in the gutter, shiny and tiny nitrous oxide containers, leftovers from festivities, which are an outcome of the basic human need for escapism, joy and self-destruction.

People leave marks and traces on their city, which can be subtle or provoking, and they are exercised either consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes the traces are seen as vandalism, or waste, an echo of our social and cultural habitus – and maybe an indication of a western hedonistic way of life.

Amsterdam’s City Centre, my own habitat, has changed radically over the last few years, with an exponential growth in the number of visitors. The visitors are tourists, but there are also people from the hinterland, coming to take part in the many events the city offers, or to participate in ‘transitional rites’, such as Blue Monday, bachelor/bachelorette parties, exam celebrations etc. Common to them all, is a culturally accepted temporary escape. The tourist, as a ‘hunter-gatherer’ who collects impressions, sounds, pictures, souvenirs and new energy, and the fest participant who uses various means to forget everyday triviality for awhile.

In line with the growing number of visitors and tourists in the city, so is the number of remnants lying on the streets, among them are numerous, empty nitrous oxide containers. In the Netherlands it is a legally and easily accessible product. The containers, laying numerous in Amsterdam’s streets, are as seeds sown in the city’s gutter. The gas, in contrast to its commonly used name ‘Laughing gas’, is according to doctors a less innocent drug, which can cause serious damage to the lungs and brain. ‘Laughing gas’ containers in the gutter are a sign of a way of life, a valve, a need for escapism and an extrovert entry in the public domain.