Barbara Cohen
Jewelry Design

Upon seeing my collection of fossil pendants a fellow artist called me an ‘organic perfectionist’. So well put to describe one of the many contradictions of my life. Whether with intent or not, one’s art is autobiographical expression.

My formal artistic biography began in 1973 at Sheridan College School of Design in Ontario where I majored in textiles. For the next 18 years I created three dimensional fiber pieces. The transition from sculptural textiles to body ornament was a logical development which represents a distillation of artistic focus. Creating jewelry offers an intimacy and commitment to refinement that speaks to my sensibilities.

When I heard a stone carver say many years ago, that the stone ‘told’ him what to carve, I did not understand what is so obvious to me now. The materials I find and am drawn to are most often the inspiration for my creations. Using materials out of context is a consistent aspect of my work giving them an ambiguity that draws the viewer’s attention, questions preconceived notions of value and suggests new meaning. The tubular mesh and silk cocoons that have served as the main platform for my recent work present me with the challenge of pursuing their versatility for further artistic expression. As with any medium, their possibilities continue to unfold and reveal themselves to me.

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