from the editors
Art is the lie that
enables us to realize
— Pablo Picasso
Dear Ornament Reader,
This issue, we take on some fascinating subjects that lend depth and breadth to the diverse interests of our readership. Here are just a few. Our cover shows Reconstructed: Bound by Demitra Thomloudis who believes that jewelry has “the potential to connect us closer to the world we are surrounded by.” Her recent jewelry explores processes and materials of construction and demolition from her stint in vast, urban Houston, where new housing is thrown up in orderly replication, following the removal of older, no longer desirable buildings to make room for more and more of the same. She assembles work from carefully curated fragments—duct tape, cement, plywood, foam from couches, metal objects that are scavenged from these sites or purchased, all selected with a designer’s eye for the unique, the sentimental, the surprising and confounding.
Robert Baines, an Australian, has shown a number of times in the United States, most recently this year in a one-person exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock. A master goldsmith and archaeometallurgist, Baines investigates the concept of inspiration and authenticity. Baines in his dual creative and technical roles has been inspired by the ancient world, one shrouded by historical mysteries and secrets and yet revelatory in their artifacts, showing humanity’s astonishing creative capabilities. This includes the ability to fake, falsify, negate the true and real, inauthenticate the authentic, so to speak. And this is a challenge he explores in his very modern pieces; in them he sets up a dialog whereby we might consider what is real and what is fiction—something we all thought once was simple but have found out, that it isn’t at all.
Artistic value is achieved when an artwork expresses the true values of its maker. With the works of Thomloudis and Baines, we experience their internal quests to search and discover the possibilities that make imaginative artifacts possible. Certainly puzzling the present and likely the future, their works do not resolve anything at all in this regard, but raise challenging questions about the process of making and the meaning of making.
With our best wishes,