Adornment has been a human impulse and tradition for centuries. Objects that are worn on the body but that serve no practical purpose (warmth or modesty) are something that is universal to all human cultures. As an art form, adornment is the act of placing the work directly in context of the body. I explore and emphasize that connection using adornment to have a conversation about the body and the human experience.
The objects that we wear are beautiful, but the human experience can be dark and traumatic. My references to the body give preference to its internal elements, adding visuals that evoke blood and tissue. Specifically, the tension between the beautiful and the grotesque is present in nearly all of my work. It is the balance between attraction and repulsion that makes the pieces so compelling. I deal with subject matter that makes most people uncomfortable, but I do it in a whimsical style, expressing existential themes through a lens of humor and playfulness.
My process is a conversation with my materials – they have a say in the final product. I start with a concept, create a metal form, and then build up from it with various other experimental materials. Though I am a metalsmith, I do not limit my visual language to that of metal. I am always searching for interesting new colors and textures to incorporate.
My most recent endeavor is a project titled the External Organs Series. Through this series, I look at the relationship that exists between jewelry and the body, and I draw attention to the connection between the two, while also disrupting the expected patterns that exist there. This consists of me taking forms that exist on the interior of the body and putting them onto the exterior of the body as adornment. The forms are bright and colorful and utilize several different textures and patterns. Driven in equal measure by aesthetics and concept, the project is a perfect example of my process. This process culminates in a series of work that simultaneously challenges and celebrates the tradition of adornment.