Carolyn Young

Press & Blogs

Transformation, or the changing of one or more things into another, is the  central mechanism of creativity. All of my work is inspired by this concept. I am especially interested in the point of transition at which one thing or group of things becomes something new. Canadian art jewellery is on the threshold of a new collective discussion and my work is part of the conversation.

Both Susurration neckpiece 1 and Nautiloid pendant are from my Survival Choreographies Project, an ongoing body of abstract work that draws inspiration from group behaviours in nature (such as murmurations of starlings). Such behaviours are in flux and cannot be predicted from the behaviour of an individual organism. Emergence in my work becomes the point at which a complexity of individual repetitive parts becomes a single new art object – wearable, relating to the body – yet reminiscent of ephemeral collective behaviours and of human collectivity. I explore the transformation of ordinary materials into something of aesthetic value, the transformation from flat sheet into three dimensions, and the transformation of individual parts into larger “organisms” by manipulating and assembling repetitive elements, creating work that is something more than the simple sum of individual parts.

As “conversation starters,” these pieces have begun by conversing with me in the studio on both conceptual and practical levels. They are calm and thoughtful, the susurrations (murmurs or whispers) in the room. Together with their Canadian art jewellery peers, they provoke questions – about the nature of jewellery and its relationships with materials, with making, with the mind, with other works in the gallery, and ultimately with the wearer, the body, and the public gaze – becoming part of a new collective conversation for Canadian art jewellery: something more than the simple sum of individual pieces and makers.

Conversation Starter

Jun 8 2018 - Jul 5 2018

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Studio 21