wire ... metal ... fibre .... unique handcrafted jewelry and accessories for men and women

Monday, May 30, 2011

a journey through homesickness

treevolution: i am home
treevolution: "i shall live here" - brooch (nickel silver, sea glass, felted fibre, copper wire)

Today I dismantle the "home is where the heart is" exhibition at Port Moody Arts Centre. This was my first solo exhibition and I'm really pleased that a. it was in my home town, and b. I shared the space with Tanis's incredible work. It really has been an exciting period in my (new) career. As a friend pointed out, I am now a mixed media artist!

The theme was completely up to me. This caused some initial head scratching. After a lot of sketching, scribbling, pondering and despair I plumped on the totally obvious idea of exploring the concept of homesickness through wearable art (!) which isn't quite as obscure as it sounds.

When I first started making jewelry I wired up chunks of seaglass from my childhood beach back in Scotland. In the first throes of homesickness, it was a great way to carry some of the memory around with me in my new homeland. The treevolution brooches and the 'embrace' series developed this theme. The little metal tree brooches, which first evolved for the 'Roots" exhibition, 'grew' from chunks of this same sea glass as their branches blossomed.

In the final weeks of prepping for exhibition my homesickness peaked - every piece I touched brought home to me how much I missed family, the village I grew up in, friends, and reminded me how isolated life as a trailing expat spouse can be. Then I settled down to work on my last treevolution brooch; instead of scottish seaglass I rooted the trunk over a piece collected on the Sunshine Coast. Instead of wiring the brooch pin, I rivetted it in place. The original 'heimweh' tree has a tiny glass heart nestling in the foliage. For the new one I added tiny copper wire maple leaves to the branch tips. Tanis's work on the walls of the Plum gallery was originally titled "we shall live here" which explored the concept of house, home and where to live. My new tree became "i shall live here" to show commitment to and peace in my new home.

After all, ten years is enough time to settle in.
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