By Lieneke Hulshof

In 1669, Lodewijk Meyer described the amuletum, also known as the amulet, as ‘a medicine around the neck’. The meaning of amulet today is still the same as the description dating from more than three hundred years ago. It is said to protect from danger, illness and accidents. Though amulets generally have ancient universal imagery, e.g. a rabbit's foot, a shell, a cross or a stone, Ana Navas uses autobiographical, self-made objects in her work. She has added blue papier maché forms to a blouse draped over a chair. Navas is offered protection not by potent natural materials like gold, gems or shells, but materials that we can all make in our homes. Not that which is shiny and strong, but rather that which is frail and indistinct.