We at Jewel Envy are always looking for new and interesting ways to present jewellery. In 2016 we launched the Jewel Envy Vitrines—a street-side, window-based gallery space used for presenting our resident goldsmiths’ work.
Everyone is LOVING the space: customers, the neighbourhood, and people walking and driving on Roncesvalles. The three-window space is representative of the inner creative workings of the BIG BLUE HOUSE. This year the gallery has presented a group exhibition for Toronto Offsite Design, one-of-a-kind jewellery by Helena Pérez-LaFaurie, and production and custom work by Alexis Kostuk and Ivane Thiebaut.
We close out the exhibition year with Micheline Roi’s solo exhibition “Wayfinding.” Relatively new to goldsmithing—she is two years into her new profession, Micheline presents a selection of her work from 2015 to the present. Coming from her first career of classical music composing—a mostly intellectual process—Micheline has spent the last two years finding her way within the physical discipline of goldsmithing.
|“Ancestry I” 2016 by Micheline Roi, brooch mixed media
Ancestry I is a momento mori in the form of a brooch. Constructed around a tintype discovered in a family archive, the piece explores mortality through the use of Christian iconography: the halo, the cross and the symbol of trinity in juxtaposition with the image of a defiant young man seated beside a table bearing a bottle of whisky.
|Rorschach I, 2016 by Micheline Roi, w
all mirror with removable brooch, mixed media
Rorschach I was made for The Contemporary Jewellery Exchange, an international exhibition in which jewellers are paired and make a piece of jewellery for the other to wear. This is what Micheline says about Rorschach I in her artist statement: The making and sharing of a piece of jewelry is a
communicative act. As artists we impose our ideas on our materials and in turn
the wearer—our work is a reflection of ourselves. But the wearer of our jewelry
isn’t a static plinth in service of our idea(s). In the act of wearing our
piece, they become the curator of our idea(s) actively recontextualizing and
interpreting our work ex situ.
As artists can we better understand our work through
relinquishing control to the wearer?
To explore this dynamic, I started first with
form—specifically a Rorschach inkblot—an historical allusion to the act of
interpretation. I then chose to use reflective material—mirror acrylic—in
reference to the pretence of self reflection in creation. The reflective
inkblot brooch is mounted in its own negative space contained within a framed
wall mirror. When the brooch is removed from the mirror to be worn, (or
recontextualized), the wearer is confronted with the absence of reflection in
the shape of the brooch they are now wearing, creating a communicative loop
between maker and wearer.
The last Vitrine in the “Wayfinding” Exhibition is a winter scene featuring pendants from Micheline’s (Atelier J) production line. The powder-coated, gold-leaf pendants hang from gold-filled chain and their shape is reminiscent of holiday tree ornaments.
Remember it is shop Saturday and all these pieces in the vitrines are for sale! The exhibition is open 24/7 and can be viewed from the sidewalk on the Southeast corner of Roncesvalles and Marion in Toronto until December 23, 2017. Come for a visit to peer in the windows and pop into Jewel Envy to inquire further!