Restoring Connections is made of recycled gold. Its clean lines and lack of adornment reflect essential elements of my design—clarity, function and elegant simplicity.
The idea of a recycled jewelry collection came from growing up in Russia. As a young girl, every birthday or special occasion I received traditional gifts in gold: a ring, little necklaces, earrings. By the time I was 20, I had accumulated an entire collection. I recognized that every gift was given with well-intentioned love, but the array of styles and forms was too much. I wanted to show how much their gifts meant to me, but in a more functional way. I decided to melt it all down; first rings, then bracelets and then necklaces.
Leather has a certain sensual feel from its slight roughness of the interior hide that touches the skin to its heft. It is superior to synthetic products including durability, comfort, beauty, suppleness, and resilience. It is the material of choice for many designers. It is functional and practical as a daily accessory, yet also evokes associations with subcultures from post-war motorcycle bands to underground sex clubs Leather has become a symbol of masculinity and sexuality. To its devotees, it represents more than mere aesthetics; it is a way of life. So it is to me.
We shape the spaces we occupy, restlessly transforming them piece by piece to satisfy our deepest aesthetic longings.
Material: papier-mâché, wire mesh
In Dark Rooms, a chapter from This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers, Jeff Sharlet documents the increasingly dire conditions members of the LGBT community in Russia live in. Nearly a decade earlier, I documented the joy and intimacy of my LGBT friends in my first book of photographs. Created in 2006 in St. Petersburg these images of my friends and fellow artists are my commentary on the systematic violation of LGBT rights in my native country, the Russian Federation. Available on Amazon
Repressive and anti-egalitarian laws,
affecting basic human rights,
are anathema to the creative spirit.