I took these photos after a friend tried on this piece with the intended 'back' (pictured right) facing forward. "It's the prettier side," she said, "the side that should be shown!" Despite my efforts to replicate a neutral pose, these quickly snapped shots reveal the change in my posture and body language regarding the front/public and back/private of the pendant; a confidence and ease versus tension and turning inward.
While the typical themes of my work remain in this piece, this side-by-side image marks a shift in my making that very much reminds me of my brooch, Wishing. Wishing is a piece I am fond of and, I dare say, proud of. It not only solidified the aesthetic that would carry through my thesis work, but also proved to be the first intentionally visible and wearable piece I had made at that time. Since making it, I have used it as a representation of myself and my work in both online and print materials.
Cameo Portraits is beginning to replace Wishing and though I am not necessarily fond or proud of this piece, I do recognize it as a transitional moment that I anticipate will carry me forward. While the tangible, metalsmithed piece, Cameo Pendant, is not the first of recent works to incorporate a lighter color palette, it is however, the first piece that is neither a handheld object or a brooch. The addition of a chain, allowed me to photograph this piece in a place other than my hand. So, you see, it is one thing to have made small objects that are hyper-focused on addressing my vulnerability and unease, purposely excising my entire body from the image in which they are documented. It is quite another to zoom out, to see my body reacting to my own work, and to realize I have been neglecting what that reaction looks like. And yet another to use that image as a current representation of my work.
You would think these revelations and this allowance of vulnerability to expand from the hand to the entire body would be somewhat freeing, as if a pressure relief valve was opened. That would only alleviate some tension, don't you think? I don't know yet. It feels a bit like opening a can of worms, if I'm honest.
As an aside, I often reference these definitions when I think about this piece and its consequent image(s). There are connections and layers that I find curious. How it all fits together, I am not yet entirely sure.
a usually brief literary or filmic piece that brings into delicate or sharp relief the character of a person, place, or event
a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face
an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks