We are products of our environments, shaped and changed by the places we call home.
Iron Identity explores my personal and cultural identity defined by the particular environment I grew up in. This identity is intimately entwined with the place itself. Rust, corrosion, a sense of neglect, the commemoration of a fading legacy, and the ability to endure are the concepts and visual language I express in my work.
Hamilton, my home on the shore of Lake Ontario has traditionally been a steel producing centre. Despite the industry having died down in recent decades, its industrial activity is still apparent. Iron Identity references my time growing up there, and the impact this place had on me. The culture of Hamilton was rough, the attitude grimy, and those characteristics greatly influenced me. Baseball bats, Metal shows and bus fights all existed alongside the backdrop of heavy industry. The working-class ethos and attitudes of my hometown shaped me into who I am today – for better or worse.
I grew up around rust, rough folk and fine jewellery. Raised in a family of goldsmiths and trained by my parents, I went on to formal post-secondary study at George Brown College. Jewellery has always been my creative outlet. This contradiction of rugged environment and refined training has left its impression on me and is the impetus of Iron Identity – a way to bring the two ostensive paradoxes in my life together.