I still remember how strange I felt early one spring morning, and that is the only thing I remember. I was five when I lost my father. I learned to suppress my emotions and feelings in a state of complete confusion and disorder. For as long as I can remember, I was preoccupied with observing others in order to maintain harmony and balance in relationships.
This shifted unexpectedly when I found shells I collected with my father before he passed away. Most of my memories are registered through shells, but the reason why had been unknown to my conscious self. Attempts to understand my connection to shells have revealed a forgotten past and become an instrument for self-reflection. I discovered that these objects brought light to emotions that were kept hidden and repressed. It led me to shift my attention to self and to further investigate, analyze, and question consciousness.
The French Philosopher Gaston Bachelard explains “shells, the creature retreats into its own private corner, a corner which provides immobility, provides shelter and an area for meditation.” The process of physically revealing the interior and deforming its shape allows me to deconstruct the memories I buried, and visually communicate my curiosity of knowing what is hidden.
Shells, mirrors, and two-way mirrors are often combined with metal forms to emphasize the experience of being exposed to something that is usually invisible and inaccessible. The scale, form, and color are kept minimal to promote a contemplative focus. I utilize the format of jewelry to encourage personal interaction; to engage the viewers and make them get close to examine it.
Plato once asked, “why should we not calmly and patiently review our own thoughts, and thoroughly examine and see what these appearances in us really are?” I am fascinated by the idea that a large portion of the human mind is unconscious. I am curious to know how we would be transformed if we observed the parts of ourselves that we are unaware of. I provide tools for introspection by creating intimate objects and jewelry that draw focus to an interior space.