Twined 18 & 22k gold 6 oz. 11 dwt. 16 grains.
9 1/2” x 8 1/4” x 1 1/2”
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When I think back over the last 17 months, I think of Covid, yes, of course, a world-changing assault on the human race. But other dangers seem to be assaulting us as well – accompanying, and sometimes exacerbated by the pandemic. Climate change, troubled world economies and political upheaval resulting in population displacement with its refugee, immigration and homeless problems, societal inequalities and injustices in wealth, status, race, gender, our interlinked and fragile infrastructure and supply chains. Politicians were seemingly unable or unwilling to make decisions and to show the leadership to confront them and work out solutions. All this made the news more than usual it seemed.
My reaction was to not be able to work at my bench. I felt paralyzed when it came to designing jewelry, so I went out and tended my garden. There I would weed the beds and bring some sense of order and control to my little corner of the world – without a mask – feeling safe by myself and with the three others in my pod who were also isolating. This was not a hardship; I deal well with being by myself.
And so it was, until January 6th. The violent break in of the Capitol stunned me. Rather than uniting us against the common threats facing this nation, it seemed that we were far more divided than I had thought. Things that I thought our left and right, our urban and rural populations should certainly agree on, our belief in democracy, love of country, basic ethics and the very rule of law, were obviously not universally held. Were there no basic truths on which all could agree? I felt strongly that our country was splitting apart and could well descend into civil war. We could lose everything we had built, fought for, saved for, protested for, worked so hard to protect, loved…
After spending the day in shock, the next morning, I was jolted into thinking about my work again and I started the direction in this piece – bringing violence to a carefully built form and risking its destruction …
I do not usually work in a narrative way, this might be as close as I have come…fallen leaves gathered together by a gentle breeze in my garden, but showing the scars of these strange times.
Mary Lee Hu