Newly-minted* jewelry artist Charity Ridpath endeavors to make wearable sculpture out of things we would normally discard. Takeout containers, blister packaging, supermarket produce bags, used bubble wrap, all cut down and reformed into appealing shapes, then joined together with recycled silver.
*She graduated with a BFA on May 17!
“My wearable sculptures are informed by what we as humans make to be thrown away. This past year, I collected all of the single-use plastic I used in order to better understand my own footprint. With “Year of Plastic” I transformed this collection into nature inspired, wearable compositions. I like to view these translucent forms as a hologram, a dystopian re-creation of something that no longer exists. It creates a link between the abundance of single-use plastic and nature’s destruction. Worn on the body, these pieces create an intimate relationship between the wearer and the material. I subvert the traditional ideas of jewelry as objects with value and symbols of status by replacing gold and jewels with plastic sculptures. The placement of these constructions on the body creates a visual focus on how we physically interact with packaging made of single-use plastic.The experience of wearing these pieces builds a tactile vocabulary that interrupts the common association of plastic products with convenience, and instead highlights their burden. Through this interaction with the work, I engage with the contradiction of single-use plastic; Though it plays an ephemeral role in our everyday, it has a long lasting impact on our environment and consequently, on us. “-About the Artist
I think her idea is genius, and the pieces are really wonderful to look at. It’s clear that in addition to her message of ecological consciousness, she’s also a damned good artist. I find her pieces utterly lovely, and the plastics give them a sort of ethereal effect.