“The format of jewelry has an extensive history as an aspect of personal expression and symbol of important social signifiers such as marital status, religious beliefs and group affiliation. It is defined in its presumed relationship to human anatomy and is at once both personal and public. It is dependent on the body for context and interpretation but at the same time brings meanings of its own to bear on the understanding of that body.
These pieces address issues of cultural geography, the relationship of jewelry to identity and the idea of the souvenir. You Are (the) Here is inspired by the historic relationship between body adornment, the idealized self and the souvenir that has included pilgrimage badges of the middle ages, cameos in the court of Napoleon Bonaparte and nineteenth century micro-mosaic jewelry. Jewelry as a format of expression is inherently defined in relationship to human scale and therefore to the human experience. These are rendered in miniature in painstaking detail and precious materials to become body adornment that may be used by the wearer to take on the constructed identities of these personal/public spaces.”
Ana M. Lopez is a metalsmith, educator and decorative arts scholar. She is currently Associate Professor and Area Coordinator of Metalsmithing & Jewelry at the University of North Texas where she also teaches The History of Craft.