Parcher’s neckpiece invites us to reconsider the relationship between jewelry and the body we often take for granted. The minimalist pendant features a single piece of lathe-turned graphite, rather than precious stones. Its understated elegance masks the artist’s subversive intent. When worn, the wearer’s movements cause the graphite to swing gently, leaving its mark.
Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery, 2019
In Graphite Pendulum-Pendant, Joan Parcher reminds the viewer that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Instead of traditional gemstones or precious metals, the artist uses materials gathered from a dump. Her works challenge the notion of preciousness and the tradition of jewelry as ornament. The pendant sways on the wearer’s body, smearing a dark stain across the chest and making the wearer a part of the artwork. The piece continually disintegrates as the material scrapes the surface of the clothing, shattering our idea of jewelry as a precious heirloom.
- 13 1⁄2 x 8 1⁄2 x 1 1⁄2 in. (34.3 x 21.6 x 3.8 cm.)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund
- Mediums Description
- graphite, sterling silver, and stainless steel
- Dress – accessory – jewelry
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI