Barbara Cohen: Seeing Red

Thursday, June 29, 2017 ― Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jewelry artists from across Canada whose work push traditional boundaries have been invited to incorporate red in their work and asked to create pieces to showcase imagination and ingenuity. It is these attributes, rather than the cost of materials, that in part imbue these works of art with their worth and ask us to examine our preconceived notions of value. The colour red has more associations than any other colour. As the universal colour warning of danger, it demands that you take notice. Strong willed and energizing, it stimulates passion and often represents sexuality, lust, anger and revenge. As well as having many political associations, red, being the colour of blood, has historically been linked with sacrifice and courage and culturally with luck, life and creativity. Red also announces itself metaphorically in our language with phrases such as ‘red tape’ and ‘caught red handed’.

But in this exhibition, the double entendre ‘Seeing Red’ can also be taken literally. In this context, red captures our attention and the creative use of this colour can immediately draw us in and focus our eye more intently on the whole piece or a particular element of the work. Traditional jewelry has historically been status ornamentation. However, the ever growing field ol contemporary jewelry pushes those limits with unusual ideas, materials, techniques and concepts and moves jewelry towards the realm of art. Although wearablility is not always a requirement, contemporary jewelry, unlike other art forms, can be viewed in a unique way because of its direct contact with and relationship to the body. When worn, it is not only the artist, but the wearer as well that makes aesthetic judgements that can further inlorm the work. Whether each of the artists in ‘Seeing Red’ is exploring conceptual ideas and/or materials, the collection of ‘portable sculptures’ presented in this exhibition continues the dialogue in the field of contemporary art jewerly.

to learn more about the artists in this exhibition click here.

Click here to read Marta Gorpogo’s review of the exhibition