Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pacific Ornaments

Pacific Ornaments was a joint exhibition of two artists; myself, Kristine Bourcier and Laurence Lagabrielle. The title gives some ideas about our motivation. We looked to body adornment in Pacific Cultures as inspiration. We also used the word pacific in the sense of non- violent, body protection.
For my part in this exposition, inspiration came from the island of Hawaii. I had recently discovered the Lei of Hawaii; not only the colorful, floral garlands, but also the leaf lei, and the more permanent lei of shell, bone, feather, seeds... Leis are very important in Hawaiian culture. they are prized "jewels" offered and worn at important family or civic occasions, as well to simply brighten the routine of daily life. The fragility of this delicate art form gives real importance to the moment of exchange between the giver and the wearer.
I wanted to make a lei, a maile lei, out of silver. To give my lei a sense of lightness and fragility, I used paper. After my first experiments with paper, glue, and metal, I was hooked. I've since done leaves, flowers, vegetables, and colorful rocks.
I am an artist-crafts person and have a firm belief in the importance of the handmade, whatever it might be, jewelry, clothing, house wares, food,... and especially gifts. Gift giving, for me, is more about the giving and exchanging of love and affection, rather than acquiring the latest fashionable consumer item.

No comments: