Friday, December 23, 2011

life in the stars...

And so this is Christmas, 2011. This time of year always sets me thinking about the big scheme of things, from the very close to home and my love for the people I am with, to feeling so small and far apart - missing those far away, or sadly gone from this life. It's the latter that sends me to the big cosmological questions, quite literally to ponder life, the universe, and everything.
A pierced copper star for a friend's tree. 2009.

There is apparently a beautiful reality - cosmologically speaking - that we contain elements from the stars, and we return this gift to the cosmos when we pass. Our atoms continue to move through the universe, uniting us with all of life. My work is frequently inspired by ideas like this, relating our very human quest to understand the natural history of our universe with the emotional experience of living, and loving.


A Big Pi Universe. Cast sterling silver pendant. 2011.
I'm sharing a picture of my piece called "A Big Pi Universe". Basically, this is a really big silver pendant... But that familiar saddle shape has a really special meaning, a cosmological inspiration based in Einstein's General Theory Of Relativity. Turns out there are many possibilities predicted by the theory, and a saddle-shaped universe is just one of them (lots more on Wikipedia).

I'm linking my piece to a fabulous public lecture I watched recently - 44 mins and 23 seconds of video pleasure provided by Dr Lawrence Krauss - bio below, courtesy of Vimeo. Dr Krauss explains just how and why we are connected to the stars: Lawrence Krauss On Cosmic Connections

This is 3/4 of an hour that I intend to share with Dr Krauss again. It is undoubtedly much more stimulating than anything offered by the yuletide TV schedule (and probably unlike any life science class you ever thought you'd sit through): Dr Krauss is eloquent throughout, and naughty enough to amuse. It's a beautiful discussion of some really big questions about life, the universe, and everything, so if you fancy something a cut above anything you'll find on TV this Christmas I'd highly recommend it (and yes, I did say I was a nerd last time!)


My thoughts are with Tom, Theo, Bob, and their families. With very best wishes for all of our lives and loves in the cosmos. 


Sunday, November 6, 2011

my brand: I am a nerd

His & Hers Nerd Pendants. Sterling silver. 2011.
There is no point in denying it: I am a nerd. I designed these pendants for the "Branded" exhibition at the fabulous Influx Gallery in Calgary this summer. I like to bring my background in science and natural history into my art work, and in this case, I also brought some political advocacy. In an era in which some cultures still deny females equal access to education, I used the loaded motif of the apple to create a context to present the writing to the viewer. Here's the full artist statement:

His and her “nerd” pendants confidently declare affiliation with a tribe that delights in knowledge, education and technology. Nerdism nourishes the world around us, and we are proud of that contribution.
His “nerd” pendant is about strength in identity. Styled after a traditional branding iron, the pendant is a rugged and substantial piece of silver, designed to perpetuate this important meme beyond one life-time.
Her “nerd” pendant is a hammered and rounded silver dome - this form gives strength to the lighter, delicate openwork. Suggestive of an apple or a heart, the word is discovered within the intimate context of the shape.
Nerd pendants honour the universal right to education for everyone.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

saved from the frost

A single purple petunia. Knocked onto the sidewalk, bright face turned defiantly to the sky, nearly crushed underfoot. I picked it up and brought it home. It quickly took up residence in a wood-fired porcelain cook’s dish. Restored overnight, it was ready to greet the camera.