A good diversion to the regular studio practice is entering a unique piece into an exhibition. It stretches you, and might even inspire new work. The brooch above, Come Here, Go Away, is my response to Danaca Design Studio’s exhibition and fundraiser “STATE | Meant 2020: significant and powerful jewelry.” This virtual exhibition called on artists to create a piece of jewelry that makes a statement and to designate a non-profit/charity. If a piece sells, 50% will go to that artist’s chosen non-profit.
But you, the viewer, can participate by voting on which pieces make it through the ranks, eventually narrowing down to a winner. Each piece goes head to head starting October 19 on Danaca’s Instagram Stories. Follow their regular feed for instructions on how to participate, or look for the green daisy icon in Stories. See the website to view all the work and read the artists’ descriptions of their idea before you vote. (You wouldn’t want to be an uninformed voter, would you?)
I had an idea for this very brooch some time ago. I wanted to explore the idea that we often can crave connection but feel ambivalent and even erect various kinds of barriers that make connection unattainable. Using the yin yang symbol as a framing device, I contrasted fur with sharp nails to represent how we attract and repel. The yin yang symbol represents harmony or balancing of our dual natures. We would not be human without our dual natures. But when do our desires and needs dangerously conflict with our outward actions causing an imbalance to occur?
I chose a brooch for this exploration because unlike other forms of jewelry, it acts like a piece of art on a wall, not distracted by body parts. The brooch doubles in purpose by inviting both the wearer and the viewer to explore their own thoughts and feelings around attracting and repelling. The brooch includes fur, nails, copper, sterling silver, wood and steel.
Even as I wanted to stay away from political subjects, saturated as I am with it all, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels to current events and the stark choices we have—light versus dark, hope versus fear, division versus connection.