This past month, November, has been a whirlwind of excitement for me. Within days of each other I received word that two of my jewelry pieces have been accepted into two different international juried exhibitions. The first one is a fine contemporary craft exhibition coming up in December in North Carolina (a true epi-center lately for the East Coast U.S. craft world) and the second is a juried group show of contemporary art in northern New Jersey. Both shows received over 460+ entries worldwide, and in both cases, only 38-40 works were chosen for each event.
I feel extremely fortunate to be able to introduce a piece at each show from my new body of jewelry/metal work. The series is called “widget lockets” – pieces fabricated entirely by hand in sterling silver (this includes a handmade oval sterling chain, clasp, bail and constructed hinge), with the addition of mixed media such as silk, plexiglas/acrylic, graphic 2-D elements created in Adobe Illustrator, printed in color on archival paper and set inside. To give an idea of what I’m essentially trying to discuss through these pieces: just like Victorians memorialized their loved ones in the historic pieces known as “mourning jewelry” – these lockets are an homage to a “dying” or near-outdated technology, such as lockets that incorporate news streams or short snippets of current headlines that scroll across computer screens/monitors. At first glance when the lockets are viewed from the front, back or closed, the object appears to be a precious item made from a precious metal and covered in silk, so as to fool one into thinking it is merely a highly personal, beautiful object. But upon opening the locket – one reveals to the viewer an unexpected screen snapshot of stories that parlay technology and how this technology has begun to consume our personal lives and wants. The text is appropriated from current news articles of importance from recent months; every aspect of this 2-D element was created by hand, including the typed-out sentences and chosen typeface.
These images of my silver lockets are “fresh from the bench” – however, I am planning to get professional photographs taken. It always poses a challenge to get good images with such reflective surfaces like metal and plexiglas. I hope to be writing my next blog post on artdoesmatter with critiques of others’ fresh, new artwork viewed in-person at one of these two upcoming group exhibitions. Stay tuned!
All images, creative concepts and objects pictured in this blog entry are copyright-2012 Patricia Sullivan / artdoesmatter and may not be used or duplicated without my permission.