Carolyn Young

Published: 03.03.2021


Carolyn Young is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist whose contemporary jewellery has been exhibited in juried and curated national and international exhibitions. Known for her innovative exploration of materials, Young was awarded a national Maker Residency at the Canadian Craft Biennial at the Art Gallery of Burlington in 2017. Her work has been published in exhibition catalogues and 500 Art Necklaces (Lark Books) and is in private collections in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. She holds graduate degrees in Art History from the University of Toronto and studied jewellery and metalsmithing at the Saidye Bronfman School of Fine Arts and the Visual Arts Centre in Montréal. Her artistic practice, Carolyn Young Designs, is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


I have a hybrid and exploratory practice working across diverse media to create contemporary art jewellery, sculpture, and drawings. My work is about flow: the interconnectedness and dynamism of nature and our part within it. The intimate symbiotic relationship between art, jewellery, and the human body is central to my approach. Inspiration comes from places, events, and experiences in the ceaseless process of becoming: liminal zones, natural dynamic systems, and the interaction of the mind and the senses in acts of perception.
My current project, Conchology, explores our longstanding relationship with shells, the traces of sea creatures used for body adornment since the earliest known human culture. Their spirals suggest a point of origin and a path of continuous growth: the past visibly turning into the present and the future. As the pandemic has progressed and we have spent more and more time “at home”, I have felt farther from my origins near the ocean than ever. These pieces not only provide a tangible connection to another place but also a bridge between the known and the unknown. Reflections on human fragility and resilience, they are amulets to protect past memories and future hopes.

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Book:  Placement. Co-Adorn Art Jewellery SocietyHalifax, Canada,  2020
Book:  Brooch/Broach. Co-Adorn Art Jewellery SocietyHalifax, Canada,  2019
Book:  Conversation Starter. Co-Adorn Art Jewellery Society & Studio 21 Fine Art GalleryHalifax, Canada,  2018
Book:  Embracing Place. Homer Watson House & GalleryKitchener, Canada,  2017
Book:  Innovation: 70th Anniversary Exhibition - 1946-2016. Metal Arts Guild of CanadaToronto, Canada,  2016
Book:  Showcase 500 Art Necklaces. Ray Hemanchandra and Chunghi ChooLark Books:  United States,  2013
Book:  Ontario Craft '11. Ontario Crafts CouncilToronto, Canada,  2011
Book:  Inspired By. Zilberschmuck Art JewelleryToronto, Canada,  2011
Book:  Masterworks Southwest. Ontario Crafts CouncilToronto, Canada,  2010