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Helen Shirk: Traces + Brooke Battles: Order/disOrder

Exhibition  /  05 Jan 2011  -  06 Feb 2011
Published: 07.01.2011
Helen Shirk: Traces + Brooke Battles: Order/disOrder.
Velvet da Vinci
Management:
Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt
Helen Shirk. Brooch: Green Garnet Trace, 2010. Silver, china paint. 15 x 7.5 x 1.3 cm. Helen Shirk
Brooch: Green Garnet Trace, 2010
Silver, china paint
15 x 7.5 x 1.3 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco presents an exhibition of new work by California-based jewelers Helen Shirk & Brooke Battles.

Artist list

Helen Shirk, Brooke Battles
Known for her bold and unique use of color on metal, Helen Shirk's work can often be recognized by her technique of employing colored pencil on the surface of large vessels. In this new body of work, she explores a smaller, wearable scale of jewelry that is colored with China paint rather than pencil. The result is a more severe burst of color that has been eroded and scratched away with a coarse file following the assembly of each piece.

Helen Shirk has been the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1978 and 1988 and was made a Fellow of the American Crafts Council in 1999. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad and included in many public collections, among them the Schmuckmuseum (Pforzheim), National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Mint Museum of Craft and Design, American Craft Museum, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian, Carnegie Museum, and Oakland Museum.

Helen Shirk Artist's statement:
My relationship with nature has strengthened over the years, becoming a spiritual resource for my life and art. Currently I'm working on a body of jewelry for the first time since 1994, still using the natural world as my focus. I worry about the effects of global warming, man-made calamities, diminishing resources and species. I find myself wondering what the earth will look like for my son and grandchildren. It has made me consider the vital role nature plays in my enjoyment of life everyday. This series is called Traces. After years of making pieces that didn't involve the body, I chose to use the smaller scale and traditional materials of jewelry to evoke a sense of intimacy and preciousness; that seemed appropriate for reflection on pleasure and loss. I'm still involved with color, but there is some violence in it.


Brooke Battles was born in Oklahoma but has lived in California since 1983. She is a second- career jeweler after years in the corporate world. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, including in Velvet da Vinci's CHESS, which was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and Anti-War Medals, a show that toured internationally from 2003 to 2007.

Brooke Battles Artist's statement:
Each of us is pulled by conflicting forces: good and evil, sleeping and waking, vulnerability and strength, speed and accuracy, aging and youth. For me, the pull of order against disorder, of organization against chaos, is the challenge.

I have trouble with concepts of Orderly and Disorderly. "Orderly" can seem demanding, claustrophobic, predictable. But it also can be classic, comforting, mind-clearing. With order, things can be laid to rest. "Disorderly" can be unnerving, confusing, time-consuming., but in disorder is an honest beauty, a randomness that makes perfect sense . A riot of disorder tells a story you may really want to hear.

My subject matter has two focuses always: the garden and the home. Or the larger nature of the irreplaceable nature of the earth and community. But those subjects are always filtered through this struggle between the demand for control and order on one hand, and on the other, the search for discovery and serendipity that disorder allows.

And now, having discovered enamels, I am like a kid getting her first finger paints. I am enthralled with the depth of meaning and nuance that are possible with the riotous colors of the tropics, the rich variety of urban gardens, and the chaos and order of communities. They lend another layer to the organic feel my work has always had.
Helen Shirk. Brooch: Lapis Trace, 2010. Silver, china paint. 11.5 x 11.5 x 1.3 cm. Helen Shirk
Brooch: Lapis Trace, 2010
Silver, china paint
11.5 x 11.5 x 1.3 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Helen Shirk. Necklace: Hematite Trace, 2010. Silver. 2.5 x 24 x .25 cm. Helen Shirk
Necklace: Hematite Trace, 2010
Silver
2.5 x 24 x .25 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Helen Shirk. Brooch: Amber Trace, 2009. Silver, china paint. 12.5 x 7.5 x 1.3 cm. Helen Shirk
Brooch: Amber Trace, 2009
Silver, china paint
12.5 x 7.5 x 1.3 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Helen Shirk. Brooch: Amber Topaz Trace, 2010. Silver, china paint. 13 x 7.5 x 1.75 cm. Helen Shirk
Brooch: Amber Topaz Trace, 2010
Silver, china paint
13 x 7.5 x 1.75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Helen Shirk. Brooch: Turquoise Trace, 2008. Silver, china paint. 12.5 x 7.5 x 1.75 cm. Helen Shirk
Brooch: Turquoise Trace, 2008
Silver, china paint
12.5 x 7.5 x 1.75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Brooke Battles. Neckpiece: Urban Garden Vine, 2010. Silver, copper, enamel. 16.5 x 5 x 1.3 cm drop. Brooke Battles
Neckpiece: Urban Garden Vine, 2010
Silver, copper, enamel
16.5 x 5 x 1.3 cm drop
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Brooke Battles. Neckpiece: Cityscape, 2010. Silver, copper, enamel. 45 long x 10 x 2 cm. Brooke Battles
Neckpiece: Cityscape, 2010
Silver, copper, enamel
45 long x 10 x 2 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Brooke Battles. Piece: Florist’s Brooch, 2010. Silver, copper, enamel, gold, peridot. 5 x 5 x 1.3 cm. Brooch/Neckpiece. Brooke Battles
Piece: Florist’s Brooch, 2010
Silver, copper, enamel, gold, peridot
5 x 5 x 1.3 cm
Brooch/Neckpiece
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Brooke Battles. Neckpiece: Urban Garden, 2010. Silver, copper, enamel, gold paint. 45 long x 7.5 x 1.3 cm. Brooke Battles
Neckpiece: Urban Garden, 2010
Silver, copper, enamel, gold paint
45 long x 7.5 x 1.3 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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