Holly Bobisuthi

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The Longship Necklace

Anyone who has taken a drawing class has been told that the negative space is just as important as the solid, black lines they etch onto the paper.  The pieces in Holly Bobisuthi’s jewelry line suspend from the ear of the wearer, lay over the collarbone, and float almost like halos on the crown.  The shapes are drawn with metal, allowing what is seen between each line to become a canvas.

The Fortnight Necklace & Lover’s Eye Hairpin

Bobisuthi’s primitive renderings are of natural phenomena and ancient wards.  The Fortnight Necklace tells the story of the phases of the moon; the Sunspot earrings capture the temporary bursts of energy in petal shapes emitting from a ring.  In her collections, there are also many eyes (the Evil Eye—to protect the wearer from black magic).  The Longship Statement Necklace, created in the Bobisuthi’s simplistic style, possesses drama not only because of it’s size.  The necklace also offers movement and sound to represent a Viking longship and it’s many oars sailing in the sea.

See more of her work and peruse the shop at HollyBobisuthi.com

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Dame Paula Rego/Jane Eyre

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“Crumpled”

Dame Paula Rego’s artwork is brutal.  It Realistic detail is used to manipulate the surreal into grotesque visual fair.  Humans interact with over-sized animals whose hair you can feel by looking at the image.  You flinch when figures contort themselves with pained expressions, regarding your own physical state.

One particularly interesting trait in Dame Rego’s work is her choice to sometimes illustrate children in adult bodies.  She believes that children are not blissfully innocent, but posses a kind of knowing.  This suits her visual exploration of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre.  Dame Rego illustrates Jane as both a woman and a child, but not based on the timeline.   Jane is chastised, punished, in the text for not being more child-like.  By this, the adults around her mean that she is aware, intelligent, and capable of conversation that is not fluff.  Yet, they wish for her to be simple.  Her disposition is cultivated by an early life wrought with cruel treatment.  The stormy tone of the book suits Dame Rego’s style in more ways than this.  Jane Eyre has mystery, darkness, and fantasy that walks the edge more on the side of reality.  At times, there is an explanation for such things, yet the fantastic description stays in the mind.  It allows the reader to believe in the possibility that these chilling moments crossed from reality to the other side.

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“Loving Bewick”

“Loving Bewick” depicts an adult Jane set to devour a pelican.  This embodies the very first pages of the book where Jane hides behind the curtain in a windowsill to read Bewick’s book about animals, virtually eating up the text to cherish each morsel of knowledge gained.

In “Inspection,” a young Jane stands on a stool as the minister examines her to discover if she is as evil as her Aunt claims she is.  Jane is so small beneath the gaze of these over-sized grown ups, emphasizing the absurdity of their perceiving the presence of a devil in Jane.  An over-sized defense that would rising up against what they deem the threat of a budding intellectual.

My favorite quote from the text, “The shadows are just as important as the light,” sums up the protagonist herself.*  She is a complex web of her experiences.  After spending a lifetime misunderstood, and introverted as a consequence, Jane encounters Master Rochester.  To most people, she silently fades into the background like a portrait on a wall.  Yet, the depth of her inner life shows itself as a mysterious and frightful quality in his eyes. He describes her as set apart from society and culture like a nun, but senses her humanness.  He invites her into conversation, finding her to be his intellectual match.  He registers her as being a person with an astute shell raised against the experiences that life gave to her.  “You are no more naturally astute than I am naturally vicious,” he says because he too buried his heart beneath memories of poor treatment.*  Dame Rego’s illustrations capture his ragged, brash shell that is often softened in film adaptations.

Learn more about Dame Paula Rego here.

 

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*Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre.  New York: Random House, 1943.