Karin Jones: Ornament and Instrument
Karin Jones, Worn, 2014-15, hair extensions, cotton bolls, hair of the artist. Collection of Royal Ontario Museum, ROM AN#2016.13.1. Photo: Eydis Einarsdottir

Karin Jones: Ornament and Instrument

Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC - Feb 3 - Apr 16

by Christine Clark

Vancouver-based interdisciplinary artist Karin Jones, recently long-listed for the 2022 Sobey Art Award, is a skilled jewelry maker who, after earning a diploma in jewelry art and design at Vancouver Community College in 1993, spent the next 20 years working as a goldsmith, designing, creating and mending jewelry. During this time, she devoted herself to continually developing her skills: studying goldsmithing in Germany and blacksmithing in Finland, as well as taking part in workshops and artist residencies across Europe, Canada and the USA.

Jones completed an MFA (2018) at NSCAD University in Halifax, where she created Worn, a Victorian mourning dress made from black, braided hair extensions, which she described as a metaphor for the relationship between cotton, imperial rule and slavery. Other work also included in Ornament and Instrument is a thought-provoking untitled series of neckpieces made by casting medical equipment, specifically intravenous apparatus, in bronze. This ongoing series, initiated in 2015, raises questions about the preciousness, accessibility and optimism of our medical systems and technologies.

Jones writes: “I think the common thread in all my works is a commitment to quality crafts- manship. I like to experiment with different techniques and master them. But also, since around 2009, when I turned away from purely decorative objects, towards using concepts as a starting point, I have been preoccupied with authenticity and truth. That is, what are the truths that lie beneath certain things, that aren’t necessarily visible at first glance?”

Opening reception Feb 2, 7-9pm.


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