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Cognizance Series: Autonomous - Differences Unite Us

Materials: Hand-fabricated copper, pig gut
Dimensions: 30" x 30" x 23"

Focusing on beauty vs. repulsive & the conscious manipulation of the body, the piece, although seemingly flowing & light, is very heavy, cumbersome & restrictive of the body’s natural movement, & thus there is a powerful relationship between the wearer & the worn. Each of us has a different view of how our body relates to our mind, but in seeing a ‘body restricted’ we find ourselves on a common empathetic ground. However, this is further conflicted by the beauty of the piece, and the viewer is left to decide whether it is pain or elegance that they are confronted with.

Holland Houdek
Syracuse, NY. USA

Working from the body, I create metal structures that play off the natural curves and lines of the human form. While my concept changes from one series of work to the next, I tend to focus on dichotomies –the beautiful versus the repulsive, the delicate and gestural against the heavy and burdensome, the meditative contrasted by the straining– in order to affect the conscious perception of both the viewer and the wearer of each piece.

In this way, the unifying concept of my work is the dichotomy between the mental and the physical. While the physical form is always accessible to us, it is the hidden quality of our consciousness of the physical form that is most appealing to me. Whether it is the consciousness of an everyday bodily position, of the body enduring a straining position, of meditative positions, or of social space and personal boundaries – I explore all of these themes in my work.

I view the body as a site of experience, as a place where things happen, and my work confronts the viewers with this notion and asks them to reconsider the subject’s and their own body, and how they are able to interact with and move about the world. Conscious perception is contingent on the corporeal self, and my work comments on this intrinsic dependency that many of us take for granted and yet are more intimately aware of than any other relative concept.

Ganoksin hosts the jewelry list Orchid, with over 13,000 list members from all over the world, speaking from a wide range of technical and aesthetic experiences. The exhibition theme grew out of a desire to celebrate the creativity encompassed in this wide variety.

Artists were free to interpret the theme in any way they chose. Each artist could submit up to six pieces. Interpretations include uniting different materials into one cohesive form; intellectual and emotional “unitings”, where the meaning of the piece unites multiple concepts; the uniting of time - past, present and future; and a number that focus on the harmony created when uniting multiple materials and/or concepts.

The work submitted involved a wide range of jewelry techniques, from very traditional to very cutting edge, as well as using materials from traditional precious metals and gemstones to “re-purposed” and “up-cycled” materials.

The exhibition showcases 330 images chosen from entries from over 111 artists representing 26 countries.

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Serbia, Spain, Trinidad, Turkey, UK, USA, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands

Many of the participants began their interest in jewelry at a young age. Some are relative newcomers to the field, and some have over 35 years of experience as professional jewelers and goldsmiths. While some grew up in families that were goldsmiths, and followed in those footsteps, others only began creating jewelry as adults.