There's no shortage of beautiful jewelry out there by talented designers working with recycled metals. But once in a while, you come across work that crosses the line from mere style to true art.
These powerful, nature-inspired pieces by Swedish artist and designer Hanna Hedman are just that: on a practical level, they are stylish accessories; on another level, they are wearable pieces of art, with an intricate composition of animal forms, suggesting compelling narratives hidden in their depths.
Contrasting and blending layers and sculptural fragments of copper, recycled silver and paint, which she builds into complete sculptural narratives, Hedman constructs bodily landscapes that tell stories about escape, dreams and our relationship with nature.
Her latest handmade collection is themed around our romantic illusions about that very relationship. She says:
Humans often have a romantic idea of the natural world and the relationship we have with it, but in reality we are in conflict with nature by having a major negative impact on biodiversity. Our destructive behaviour negatively affects the environment and ultimately ourselves.
Called While they await extinction, Hedman's newest set of jewelry is motivated by telling the story of this relationship, showing an evolution of animal forms that act as talismanic mementos:
Images of endangered animals and plants merge into each other and create new form of life. The forms are inspired by species unable to adapt or in some cases even completely died out. The jewels are affirmations for the different species, but also a commentary on the responsibility that we as humans hold. By wearing these jewels we become reminded of this responsibility on our own bodies in the form of memento jewellery.
Her previous collections are equally intriguing, and have been exhibited internationally. I think what distinguishes Hedman's work is her stated commitment to creating poetic work that transcends mere utility:
Poetry exists in time. I give my time for you to experience. If the piece of jewellery had been produced industrially, the poetry in the artwork, the energy, would not be the same. In this society we live in today, that so often is such as bustle, I want my jewellery to be a sort of place for a pause, a place to experience.
More information and images of previous work on Hanna Hedman's website.