Artist Teresa Margolles makes diamond from London riots 'dust'
WHEN Mexican artist Teresa Margolles arrived in the UK in 2011 she witnessed London erupting into violence.
In the aftermath, she travelled through Croydon in South London to document the destruction and vandalism caused by the unrest.
She collected residues generated by the rioting including carbonised remains of burnt out buildings and objects that were products of vandalism.
In a bid to create art symbolising the riots she separated pieces of wood and carbon from a burned building in London Road in Croydon and sent it to a English company which specialises in elaborating diamonds with the remains of ashes from incinerated bodies.
The result is this stunning three-quarter carat, 58 facet cut diamond.
Margolles, one of the foremost artists working in Mexico today, this week presented her new body of work for the 2012 Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art.
The artist has earned a reputation internationally telling stories relating to violence, crime and death.
Some of her art work includes broken glass from Mexican street clashes and shootings which she gathers together and turns into the sort of flamboyant jewellery worn by drug dealers.
But her work has raised some eyebrows in the past.
A New Zealand museum had to cancel an exhibition by Margolles after concerns it would offend people.
The Lower Hutt's Dowse Art Museum had planned to display Margolles installation - an empty room filled with floating bubbles using water formerly used to clean corpses.