‘Iron Identity’ is a solo exhibition of work by Toronto-based contemporary jeweller Alex Kinsley Vey.
“Hamilton, my hometown on the shore of Lake Ontario, has traditionally been a steel producing centre. Despite the industry having died down in recent decades, its industrial activity is still apparent. ‘Iron Identity’ references my time growing up there, and the impact this place had on me.
Brooches, rings and neck-pieces evoke and commemorate this identity through the use of oxides, coarse finishing, and sturdy construction. I use colours associated with industrial machinery and abandoned sites – bright colours that contrast signs of rust and deterioration. Transporting this aesthetic to the body allows it to be worn close, displayed with pride, and given reverence as a jewellery object.
The places and structures I reference directly influenced the culture of Hamilton. These former steel mills, manufacturing facilities, and factories provided good, working class jobs, and were once economic symbols announcing the prosperity of the city. Now that we have moved into a post-industrial economy, these places look dirty and out of place. I grew up around the last of these industrial sites when the flame of industry was already diminished. I feel compelled to record the physical and emotional identity of this city in order to come to a better understanding of my own identity.”
– Alex Kinsley Vey
On June 3rd my first solo exhibition will be opening at Craft Ontario Gallery here in Toronto! Check out some of the work which will be in the show until August 14th.