Beth M. Biggs, MFA, RCA, QGJM
Born in 1961, Biggs graduated from the State University of New York and New Paltz (MFA) and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (BFA). With a teaching career that spanned 30 years, she taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Nunavut Arctic College and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Among grants and awards are the Golden Jubilee Medal from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for her contribution to arts education in Nunavut and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
“In my practice, I am interested in the innate potential of jewellery - as body adornment - to be fortified with conceptual meaning - particularly ideas associated with feminist symbols, signs, gender classification, and the social and political implications behind these. “
I work on a number of series simultaneously, and look critically at western history for inspiration.
During the Victorian Period, flowers were representative of emotional states of being. As it was considered inappropriate for women to express their emotions, especially desire, flowers became a way of communicating deeply personal sentiments. In "Speak", flowers are presented front and centre, delicately painted using metal oxides in the Limoges enamelling technique, are placed on our chest, an important ritual space of our bodies.
"Medieval Lace" draws from the rich metalworking history of the period. One of the earliest forms of armour used as protection in battle predates the "Medieval Period" and is found over a vast geographical area. Generally it conjures up images associated with masculinity - knights and kings fighting in gruesome battles. Here, I have taken the concept of maille as protection and created feminine lacy jewellery. These pieces are intended to simultaneously empower and protect the wearer.