Fragile Days, Fragile Ways is a series of momento mori pieces that look at loss of insect biodiversity, value and our symbiotic relationship with nature. Bridget Kennedy combines diverse, non-precious and organic materials with traditionally precious materials in this body of work, continuing an ongoing enquiry into environmental fragility, impermanence, choice and value.
This series includes a pendant made with cicada shell legs set into a sterling silver back, two brooches made with electro-formed cicada shell and cicada shell eyes, both set in gold, a number of rings and earrings made from beeswax and gold (including one black ring made with beeswax collected from a diseased beehive, coal and ash) and a necklace made from gold and beeswax that references the Varroa Destructor, a parasitic mite that attacks honey bees.
"My exhibition practice continues an ongoing enquiry into environmental fragility, impermanence, choice, social expectations and value. An emphasis on materials and exploration allows the physical act of making to partly drive the outcome.
"More recently my practice has been placed within the gallery or public arena. ‘Gallery as Practice’ has provided an opportunity to observe participation and exchange between jewellery and objects, and the community. The experience of how people interact with the jewellery-object, the values placed on the works and the choices made, has increased my curiosity in exploring the social and participatory aspects of jewellery further."
Bridget Kennedy completed an Advanced Diploma in Jewellery and Object Design in 2005. In 2008 she co-founded Studio 20/17, is currently the director of contemporary jewellery gallery and workshop Bridget Kennedy Project Space, and has taught part time both at various community colleges, universities and privately. She has been a finalist in the National Contemporary Jewellery award, was awarded first prize in Graduate Metal X, and has won both the emerging and established categories of the JMGA-NSW Profile Award.
She has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in group shows both nationally and internationally. In 2015 she completed a Masters in Studio Art at Sydney College of the Arts. The use of diverse, non-precious and organic materials with traditionally precious materials in her exhibition work continues an ongoing enquiry into environmental fragility, impermanence, choice and value.
Image: Bridget Kennedy, Fragile days, fragile ways – the long hot summer pendant reversible, 2013, cicada shell legs, oxidised sterling silver, 50 x 50 x 15 mm (chain hanging length 480 mm).