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Life in Southern California, with it’s unreal-real sunsets, the faded colors of light-bleached buildings, and the vestiges of seventies SoCal lifestyle in all it’s cliched glory, brought my foggy memory to a saturation point, forming crystals of an experience known and unknown to me. This California “dream” condensed into symbols of deeper meaning —tacky images of palm trees and sunsets, mid-century modern architectural screens, men’s striped velour sweaters, and phallic vessels. These symbols coalesced into objects with varying physical relationships to the body —some at the scale of architecture, some at the scale of jewelry, some in between. These degrees of magnification describe levels of intimacy and highlight the similarities between how architecture and jewelry operate. Both contain more than just the body.
Breeze block screens, remnants of the hay day of mid-century modern architecture and cliché Cali living, dot SoCal. They were widely used to create architectural dividers at the front of residential structures —allowing for privacy but not inhibiting air flow into interior spaces. The decorative aspect of these screens, as well as the way in which they frame a partial view into a private space, act to highlight and increase speculation of the interior. This duality and contradiction in purpose and function is very similar to how jewelry performs. Jewelry, in its intimate scale, has the concentrated capacity to protect a wearer, enhance confidence, hold a memory, celebrate love, commemorate life, beautify the body and invite connection.
With this invitation, beyond the screen and behind the jewelry, is the narrative of the interior. This particular scene is wrapped in men’s striped velour sweaters, decorated with clichéd images of sunsets and velvety palm trees and occupied by bodily forms. The setting may be as microscopic as my memory and/or as magnified as the wider experience of a certain time and place. In either case, a story is told on the landscape of the body, in the context of the body and with the language of jewelry and architecture. Utilizing this vocabulary a range of spaces and places are explored —from the personal to the clichéd, from the past to the present, from the mental to the physical, from the obvious to the mysterious.
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