Updated: Nov 9, 2022
Burrard Arts Foundation presents The Maker’s Mark, an exhibition produced in collaboration with the Craft Council of British Columbia and the Vancouver Metal Arts Association.
Date: Thursday, November 10, 2022
Time: 6pm-9pm (PST)
Location: #2-258 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC
About Maker's Mark
The art jewellery movement of the 1950s emphasized creative expression and challenged previous notions of value through a variety of materials with low economic worth. Today, the principles that spearheaded the contemporary art jewellery movement are more prevalent than ever. These include a shared understanding that less is more, an emphasis on sustainable methods of production, and a reevaluation of precious and hierarchical materials.
The Maker’s Mark includes works from emerging and established women artists who carry the torch for contemporary art jewellery, a practice traditionally dominated by men. Some of the exhibiting artists are known internationally for their contributions to the art jewellery world while others are just beginning to leave their mark, but all deserve to be recognized in their home regions and beyond.
Art jewellery can be many things and fit into many categories, thus escaping definitive classification in the visual arts. Rather than following a clear avenue, it is at an intersection where one art form meets another. It is sculptural, but also wearable, conceptual but also functional. These unique demands of its design and creation necessitate its quality craftsmanship and consideration of materiality. A brooch or neckpiece can be a political statement (look to Madeleine Albright or Ruth Bader Ginsberg) but also requires technical mastery for regular wear. At its core, art jewellery is artistic expression, both on and off the body.
In jewellery, the maker’s mark is the initials, name, or other symbol that creators stamp into the metal of their work. It is a trademark, or an artist signature, that speaks to the authenticity of output by a certain maker. Each stamp must be unique and identifiable. While not all art jewellers stamp their work, their signature can be seen in the work itself, through recognizable styles, materials or processes. Many of the artists in this exhibition work with specialized materials, use found objects, take influence from nature or their surrounding environments and create messages around current issues that demand critical thought. Each artist does so in a way that is purely distinguishable from one another—a way marked by the maker’s hands. The Maker’s Mark examines the diversity of marks local women artists make in contemporary art jewellery and the impact this continues to have on the history of the medium.
meet the featured artists
"Harvesting and working with our hands is such a huge part of Northwest coast life; it's that life that I wish to portray and strengthen with my work. Working within the art form and with our hands is also a spiritual work put into practice through the physical manifestation created to represent our law. Through the creation of jewelry, I visually highlight matriarchal power within the Northwest Coast system as a legitimization of Indigenous sovereignty."
Carmel is inspired by the Japanese aesthetic wabi-sabi, which celebrates graceful aging, imperfection and the maker’s hand. Her jewelry often features decaying objects revealed as raw gems, remaining exactly as they were found, and embodying the splendor and magnificence of decay.
[Bridget's] art practice is a material exploration of plastic worth and waste. I use found and collected plastic debris to explore the personal and cultural biases of a worthless material and the disastrous impacts this neglect has created.
Jesse collects and reworks fragmented found materials, and for the past six years or so has been working extensively with bronze casting and sculpture using beach trash as a casting model.
Yoshie's work for this show develops the themes of soft materials: "I am reaching out for freedom, something that becomes more and more important as one gets older. I want to find how I can create something valuable and meaningful using the materials and skills I have at hand."
"My work can be defined by material and process; and how manipulation of these two attributes can best convey the emotions and sentiment attached to life experience in the outdoors. The materials I choose can be unpredictable."
Jan's jewellery and metalwork employs traditional enamelling in combination with contemporary techniques; allowing for the exploration of imagery and mark making. Smith’s work has a tactile delicacy and the marks create a language or code: this is an invented language, a code that affords her a dialogue with the natural world.
"I am interested in the symbiosis of dualities: the natural and man-made, old and new, east and west, departure and arrival, and how this can be investigated through alternative materials and methods of making. Overall, my work aims to skew views, to engage myself and others to look at things differently, whether that be through the consideration of an alternative material, through challenging preconceived notions of value or through looking in a different direction to see what appears.
My practice is about asking questions and creating a forum where those questions can play out in a three-dimensional, visual form."