Homeland - Holding Place

Materials: Sterling silver, steel, glass, rubber, enamel paint

This hand toy contains three steel beads that move freely inside the enclosed form of the object. As the silver dome fits perfectly inside the palm of the hand, a slight movement forces the steel beads into a circular motion, inviting the holder to meditation and introspection.

Photo credit: Marie-Eve Castonguay

Marie-Eve Castonguay
Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canada

Questions of identity and sense of belonging are the essence of my current work. I am fascinated by the way that the modern society went from a fully sedentary lifestyle to a contemporary form of nomadic lifestyle. We are in constant motion through our lives, whether it be from house to house, from city to city or from country to country.

My work therefore becomes a metaphor for our relationship with physical environments and the idea of sense of belonging, based on the use of different types of movement which are engendered by natural physical forces.

I am strongly influenced by building engineering and architecture, which justifies the use of very hard lines and angles and the recurrence of apparent structures in many of my pieces. As I was first trained as a goldsmith, I tend to prioritize metal in my choice of materials. I also make great use of cement, which symbolizes building foundations and the feeling of attachment.

These containers and vessels definitely hold their place in the world of stunning art objects as well as in the world of metalsmithing.

Since the dawn of time humans have created containers to hold things that were important to them, from large vessels to hold food and harvests to intimate containers for small precious things. They might hold memories, ashes, medicine, beverage, fruit or food - but all spring from the imagination and skill of the maker. Some have specific religious functions, some are meant for everyday use. When one thinks of a vessel or container the inclination is to think of something with solid walls - yet many of these works involve the exploration of positive and negative space, and the use of negative space to help create the illusion of the wall of the vessel.

As the world’s largest jewelry related internet site, Ganoksin strives to develop exhibitions showcasing work from around the world. This exhibition was open to all metalsmiths, professional and amateur, advanced and beginner. Participants are from The Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Colombia, Romania, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia and Denmark. While most of the pieces are by an individual metalsmith, some are collaborations, one of three artists spanning 50 years.

In total 319 artists contributed 729 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition.

Objects in the exhibition include boxes, lockets, urns, ash containers, bowls, wine cups, reliquaries, match holders, vases, teapots, pitchers, sugar bowls, baskets, nests, pillboxes, clutches and a range of sculptural forms. A variety of techniques are showcased covering a wide range of metalsmithing techniques. Materials used include everything from gold and silver to less expensive metals. Ornamentation includes the addition of enamel, chasing and repousse’, gemstones and found objects.

The exhibition was curated by Beth Wicker, President of the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths in the United States, and Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern Technical College in South Carolina. Director of the exhibition is Hanuman Aspler, founder of The Ganoksin Project, the world’s largest internet jewelry site.