Artist Statement for What's Left Behind, What Still Remains

          Throughout time cultures fabricated objects made of metal and stone, imbued them with deep cultural significance, incorporated them into activities both mundane and ritual. These objects, due to their durable and precious nature were passed down through generations as heirlooms, or have been rediscovered as artifacts -  presented in museums, galleries, sold at auction.  The objects manufactured as part of contemporary visual and consumer cultures overwhelmingly embody aspects of transience and superficiality, expressions of a disconnect from the continuity of generational shifts. In this culture of temporariness, how does one create work about permanence? Could ephemeral objects evoke permanence? How can honor be conferred on events we prefer to overlook? What would our ritual objects look like? Can art create a pause - a space - in which significant but overlooked moments can be memorialized?

          Contemporary jewelry re-evaluates value through the juxtapositions of materials and contexts.  Utilizing forms and materials not normally valued as jewelry or art, I’m removing them to a place of contemplation and consideration, asking the viewer to re-examine the way they feel about an often background object.  By making the forms beautiful, engaging, made of a precious material associated with human intervention and creation, I’m asking the viewer to translate this new-found value to their everyday experience.  I recontextualize remnants, natural objects, body parts emphasizing the similarity of forms natural and fabricated, human and non-human.  Through my work referencing jewelry as an heirloom object, I’m exploring the ways in which we pass down ideas, genes, appearances - the way in which some things remain, while others fade. I’m seeking to provoke a contemplative response in the viewer and wearer of my work on the transitory nature of life and our human drive to create lasting impressions of themselves in myriad ways.

This work was completed as part of my research for my MA in Metals and Jewelry from Ball State University