Joan Parcher, Graphite Pendulum-Pendant, 1994, graphite, sterling silver, and stainless steel, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund, 1995.12
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
- Object Number
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