Water Sports (2002)
Exhibition of 10 works that were shown at Craft ACT, Canberra in 2002, and the Jam Factory in Adelaide in 2003. The images for most of the works were derived from patterns of 18th-Century jewelry. The exception being "Spunk" which is modeled after a Florentine Medici pendant from the 16th century. Visiting Florence for the first time, in the early 90's, I had hoped to see the Galleria del Costume at the Palazzo Pitti, which houses the extraordinary brocaded gown worn by Eleonor de Toledo in the portrait painted by Bronzino in 1545 (legend has it, when the Medici tombs were opened in the 19th-Century, the embalmed Eleonor was found laid-out in the same dress). As is often the case, that part of the Museum was closed for conservation. But standing in the queue to purchase my ticket, I made a drawing of a pendant in the form of a young sea god, which appeared on a poster for exhibitions. The young, sprightly merman held a sceptre representing the sun, in one hand, and an hourglass made of two pearls, under his other arm. Clearly an allegory of vanity and the swift passing of youth. Attached to his enameled golden tail are linked 3 baroque pearls. He is supported by small dolphins and encrusted with other marine motifs. Though unable to visit the Gallery of Costume, once inside the museum I did stumble upon other examples of Medici treasure: several pendants and jeweled necklaces which I made drawings of. I began to imagine these forms reproduced at a much larger scale. 5 years later I decided to study glass, and had the opportunity to realize works inspired by historical pieces of jewelry, at the scale of chandeliers.