THE POWER OF JEWELRY NOVEMBER 15 – 21, 2021
From monarchs to hip-hop royalty, politicians to actors, primadonnas to Madonna, grand dames to grandmama’s, we all rely on the power of jewelry to seduce, inspire, and communicate. As the earliest art form, jewelry is most precious not simply for its intrinsic value, but for its ability to transcend time and space, and transform both object and wearer. Borne out of alchemy and earthly materials, and shaped by human hands to adorn our bodies, jewelry can be used to invent a persona or reveal our authentic selves. A blurring of the personal and public. Whether legendary or everyday, jewelry has the power to unite us all.
Forging Cultural Bonds
Through forging metal, jewellers turn everyday mechanics to an artistic end. The rhythmic blows of the hammer that echo the beat of the heart, somehow forges a brother and sisterhood, a jewellery culture, that can transform borders into bonds. Two artists from diverse backgrounds share their experiences of how jewellery has opened up a world of connection.
Mathew Nuqingaq grew up in Qikiqtarjaq, Broughton Island, but now lives in Iqaluit. He received his Jewellery and Metalwork Diploma in 1999 from the Nunavut Arctic College, where he later taught before opening his own studio. One of six artists chosen to make the ceremonial Mace for the Nunavut government, Mathew is also a drum dancer and photographer.
Mathew co-founded the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association (NACA) and has been a board member of the Inuit Art Foundation for a few decades. Governor General David Johnston inducted Mathew to the Order of Canada in 2016.
Originally from France, Matthieu Cheminée moved to Mexico at the age of 19, where he fell in love with Native American art - especially Hopi, Zuni and Navajo jewellery. He studied with native silversmiths for six years. Later, while living in Mali, West Africa, he worked with Touareg and Bambara jewelers for two years, exchanging techniques and ideas. Matthieu perfected his skills through a more classical training in Canada, where he now teaches. Today he returns often to West Africa while teaching in Montreal.
Matthieu Cheminée and Tim McCreight created The Toolbox Initiative in 2014 tto assist jewelers with limited resources through the collective strength of the metalworking community and to create new connections worldwide.