Alex Kinsley Vey

Jeweller  /  MunichJewelleryWeek2020
Published: 21.05.2021


9 new pieces from the series Iron Identity are featured.
Alex Kinsley Vey Alex Kinsley Vey


Alex Kinsley Vey is originally from Hamilton, O.N. where he received jewellery training from his parents. Moving to Toronto in 2010 Alex studied jewellery at George Brown College, receiving a Adv. Diploma in Jewellery Arts in 2013. He has shown work in Canada, Europe, and the United States. He has been a member of Craft Ontario since 2012 and was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence program in 2015. Currently a sessional instructor at OCAD University in Toronto, and has previously taught at George Brown College in Toronto, and NSCAD University in Halifax.


We are products of our environments, shaped and changed by the places we call home.
Iron Identity explores my personal and cultural identity defined by the particular environment I grew up in. This identity is intimately entwined with the place itself. Rust, corrosion, a sense of neglect, the commemoration of a fading legacy, and the ability to endure are the concepts and visual language I express in my work.

Hamilton, my home on the shore of Lake Ontario has traditionally been a steel producing
centre. Despite the industry having died down in recent decades, its industrial activity is still apparent.  Iron Identity references my time growing up there, and the impact this place had on me. The culture of Hamilton was rough, the attitude grimy, and those characteristics greatly influenced me. Baseball bats, Metal shows and bus fights all existed alongside the backdrop of heavy industry. The working-class ethos and attitudes of my hometown shaped me into who I am today – for better or worse.

I grew up around rust, rough folk and fine
jewellery. Raised in a family of goldsmiths and trained by my parents, I went on to formal post-secondary study at George Brown College. Jewellery has always been my creative outlet. This contradiction of rugged environment and refined training has left its impression on me and is the impetus of Iron Identity – a way to bring the two ostensive paradoxes in my life together.

I make neckpieces, rings
and brooches – all standard forms of fine jewellery but change the scale and finishes to reflect the singular features and influences defined by my home town.  The work is large in scale; some pieces are reminiscent of armoured plates and shields. Using the historical functions of jewellery – to denote individuality, status or ward off evil – my pieces are markers of identity. My View from the Pier series of neckpieces sit protectively on the chest and my Gold für Eisen series of rings, proudly rise off the body like a fortress.

Iron Identity evokes and commemorates this identity through the use of oxides, coarse finishing, and sturdy construction. I use
colours associated with industrial machinery and abandoned sites – bright colours that contrast signs of rust and deterioration. Transporting this aesthetic to the body allows it to be worn close, displayed with pride and given reverence as a jewellery object. Underneath the surface oxides and decoration, is something sturdy and comforting, like my home is to me.

The places and structures I reference directly influenced the culture of Hamilton. These former steel mills, manufacturing facilities and factories provided good working-class jobs, and were once economic symbols announcing the prosperity of the city. Now that we have moved into a post-industrial economy; transitioning into service-based industries, these places look dirty, out of place, and the desire to tear them down for new development is strong. I grew up around the last of these industrial sites when the flame of industry was already diminished. I feel compelled to record the physical and emotional identity of this city in order to come to a better understanding of my own identity.


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Events      View / hide events

Exhibition  20 Dec 2021 - 11 Feb 2022  Until Death Do Us Part.
Fair  09 Dec 2021 - 12 Dec 2021  Cluster Craft 2021 Fair.
Exhibition  03 Jun 2021 - 14 Aug 2021  Iron Identity by Alex Kinsley Vey in Toronto.
Exhibition  06 Jun 2020 - 12 Jun 2020  Placement.
Ahwon Gallery,  Seoul, South Korea.
Exhibition  15 May 2020 - 15 Jun 2020  Iron Identity by Alex Kinsley Vey.
Exhibition  11 Mar 2020 - 14 Mar 2020  Broken Beauty in Munich.
Exhibition  14 Jan 2020 - 15 Mar 2020  Placement.
Mary E. Black Gallery,  Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Exhibition  14 Dec 2019 - 15 Feb 2020  Broken Beauty.
Open call  20 Sep 2019 - 15 Oct 2019  Open Call for New Vernacular: a Canadian Jewelery Conversation.
Exhibition  21 Feb 2019 - 18 Mar 2019  The Intangibility of Identity.
Exhibition  04 Oct 2018 - 06 Oct 2018  Selected Artists JOYA Barcelona Art Jewellery Fair 2018.
Exhibition  22 Sep 2018 - 31 Oct 2018  Collectiva Meeting.
Collectiva, Porto, Portugal.
Exhibition  22 Sep 2018 - 31 Oct 2018  Collectiva Meeting.
Exhibition  15 Aug 2018 - 08 Sep 2018  Revealed.
VISUALSPACE Gallery, Vancouver, BC.
Exhibition  08 Jun 2018 - 05 Jul 2018  Conversation Starter.
Studio 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Exhibition  21 May 2018 - 05 Jun 2018  The After Joya Effect V.
Exhibition  02 Nov 2017 - 08 Nov 2017  Face à Face.
Exhibition  05 Oct 2017 - 07 Oct 2017  Selected Artists JOYA Barcelona Art Jewellery Fair 2017.
Fair  05 Oct 2017 - 07 Oct 2017  JOYA Barcelona Art Jewellery Fair 2017.
Exhibition  21 Jan 2017 - 18 Jun 2017  The Essentials.

Publications      View / hide publications

Book:  Growth & Evolution International Jewellery Exhibition. Sun, HermanChina Modern Publishing House Limited:  Hong Kong,  2020