Artist Statement Scroll down for Portfolio
I have this uncomfortable obsession with the hidden unknown past of everyday objects. My closest childhood friend had difficulty spending time at my house because of my parents’ antiques collection. She didn’t like the idea that the objects in my home had belonged to, lived with, died with, other people. I, on the other hand, am fascinated with that idea. As a young adult I scavenged New England beaches in the windy winter looking for treasures washed up and stuck in rock bowls. I started collecting all these bits and, now twenty plus years later, use these treasures in my found object jewelry. The winter sun setting early on these rocks, casting her dark shadow and hiding my sea treasures, connects me to the dark, unknown, shadows of an old house, an old home. I am consumed by the beauty of shadows and lights in hallways and stairwells. My great-grandmother Millie had the absolute prime basement nooks and crannies to nudge my love of this subject matter. To this day I photograph closets and foyers and basements and attics wherever I go. I recently found myself, quite accidentally I assure you, locked in a very old stairwell with no escape. Honestly, it was thrilling. I felt like the stairwell was writing me into its memoir. Old wallpaper is an aching love; think what that wallpaper has seen and touched! As a teenager I read “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Incorporating the generations of women in my bloodline, I have used the visual imagery of that short story in my work for years. The Russian folktale, “Bluebeard’s Egg,” has additionally been a constant element in my art for decades. I also very much appreciate paper engineering and children’s illustration. As the mother of a young reader, the teacher of hundreds of previously young readers, and a lover of reading in general, my passion for book illustrations is excessive. I connect many of my jewelry art pieces with the previously mentioned obsessions. I look to found/discarded objects for the base of my jewelry. Spoons, forks, and lockets often fit the bill. I look to authors and artists as inspiration for themes. I seem to fall back to my childhood hunting pastimes at the winter beaches for whimsical additions. Do you have a shadow-filled passageway to share or a wooden bin of old, discarded junk? Thanks; I’ll be right over.
Sarah Brashears Clever Millie Designs