“Catch your Breath” (2021), alabaster, bronze, and druzy snow chalcedony, 10 x 10 x 5 inches. All images courtesy of form & concept, shared with permission
Artist and jewelry designer Debra Baxter (previously) explores the endurance of grief, mortality, and human bonds in Love Tears. Comprised of anatomical and figurative sculptures, the multifaceted series blend alabaster, quartz, and wood with delicate glass or metal to create forms that contrast the fragility of the body and natural world with the rugged topographies of crystals and rock.
Simultaneously corporeal and unearthly, the spliced works evoke the Victorian tradition of mourning jewelry, which used various motifs and deep colors as memorials. In “Catch Your Breath,” for example, branch-like veins in bronze sprawl throughout crystalline lungs, while “Love Hard” bisects a smooth, glass heart with spiky quartz. “There’s inevitable pain in every form of love,” Baxter says about the series. “I’m fascinated by the ways in which we decorate this grief and mourning, and I wanted to see how far I could push myself with balancing the immediate, often ornate, demonstration of loss, and my use of permanent materials. This is about loss and legacy.”
“Crystal Brass Knuckles (forever)” (2021), sterling silver and quartz, 5 x 4.5 x 2 inches
Left: “Soften the Blow” (2021), walnut and glass, 9.25 x 10 x 7.5 inches. Right: “” (2021), alabaster and glass, 9 x 6 x 6 inches
“Love Hard” (2020), glass and quartz, 8 x 3 x 3.5 inches
Left: Detail of “Ear to the Ground” (2020), alabaster and glass, 10 x 4 x 3 inches. Right: “” (2020), alabaster and green onyx, 12 x 7 x 4 inches
“Holding It Together” (2021), bronze and amethyst, 9 x 16 x 5 inches
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