Neve Coppersmith

Neve Coppersmith is an artist and metalsmith based in Richmond, VA. Their work investigates the intersection between contemporary art jewelry and queer performance. They utilize steel wire fabrication, often incorporating alternative and non-precious materials, to create wearable sculptures that become extensions of the wearer. Their work has been featured in Material Synthesis, a juried exhibition at the Material Topics Symposium in Greenville, NC in 2023, as well as in Craft Consciousness at the Anderson Gallery in Richmond, VA in 2021. They were a finalist for the Windgate-Lamar Fellowship in 2022.

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Sickle Shoe (below); Snaggletooth Shoe (above)

Date of Creation: May 6, 2022

List of Materials: Sickle Shoe (below): Mild steel, waxed cord. Snaggletooth Shoe (above): Mild steel, brass, foam, wood putty, waxed cord

Dimensions: Sickle Shoe (below): 26in x 16in x 6in; Snaggletooth Shoe (above): 32in x 5 in x 7in

Photographer's Name: Kayleigh McDonald

Model's Name: Eli

Other Contributors: Eli (Stylist) Brian Coppersmith (Belayer, Safety Supervisor) Emma Renau Worth (Lighting Assistant)

Conceptual Statement: In my work, I queer conventional jewelry objects by playing with scale and transforming the human silhouette, challenging the viewer to question what jewelry is and is not. Both drag and jewelry utilize the body as subject; interacting with drag as a mode of imagining new meaning in the world, my work allows me to theorize about the utopian potential of adornment. Within drag and other forms of queer performance, the high heel becomes a shorthand for femininity and an icon of gendered presentation. In these pieces, the sole of a high heel is deconstructed, revealing the apparatus which shapes the foot and, by extension, the entire body. Simultaneously, the titular element of the heel is reimagined into forms that hinder mobility, recontextualizing movement and necessitating the wearer to discover new ways of navigating the world.The pieces act as prostheses of queer transformation, creating a collaborative space between jewelry-object and performance.

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Sickle Shoe (left); Snaggletooth Shoe (right)

Date of Creation: 06/05/2022

List of Materials: Sickle Shoe (left): Mild steel, waxed cord. Snaggletooth Shoe (right): Mild steel, brass, foam, wood putty, waxed cord

Dimensions: Sickle Shoe (left): 26in x 16in x 6in; Snaggletooth Shoe (right): 32in x 5 in x 7in

Photographer's Name: Kayleigh McDonald

Model's Name: Eli

Other Contributors: Eli (Stylist) Brian Coppersmith (Belayer, Safety Supervisor) Em Worth (Lighting Assistant)

Conceptual Statement: In my work, I queer conventional jewelry objects by playing with scale and transforming the human silhouette, challenging the viewer to question what jewelry is and is not. Both drag and jewelry utilize the body as subject; interacting with drag as a mode of imagining new meaning in the world, my work allows me to theorize about the utopian potential of adornment. Within drag and other forms of queer performance, the high heel becomes a shorthand for femininity and an icon of gendered presentation. In these pieces, the sole of a high heel is deconstructed, revealing the apparatus which shapes the foot and, by extension, the entire body. Simultaneously, the titular element of the heel is reimagined into forms that hinder mobility, recontextualizing movement and necessitating the wearer to discover new ways of navigating the world.The pieces act as prostheses of queer transformation, creating a collaborative space between jewelry-object and performance.

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Sickle Shoe (right); Snaggletooth Shoe (left)

Date of Creation: 06/05/2022

List of Materials: Sickle Shoe (right): Mild steel, waxed cord. Snaggletooth Shoe (left): Mild steel, brass, foam, wood putty, waxed cord

Dimensions: Sickle Shoe (right): 26in x 16in x 6in; Snaggletooth Shoe (left): 32in x 5 in x 7in

Photographer's Name: Kayleigh McDonald

Model's Name: Eli

Other Contributors: Eli (Stylist) Brian Coppersmith (Belayer, Safety Supervisor) Em Worth (Lighting Assistant)

Conceptual Statement: In my work, I queer conventional jewelry objects by playing with scale and transforming the human silhouette, challenging the viewer to question what jewelry is and is not. Both drag and jewelry utilize the body as subject; interacting with drag as a mode of imagining new meaning in the world, my work allows me to theorize about the utopian potential of adornment. Within drag and other forms of queer performance, the high heel becomes a shorthand for femininity and an icon of gendered presentation. In these pieces, the sole of a high heel is deconstructed, revealing the apparatus which shapes the foot and, by extension, the entire body. Simultaneously, the titular element of the heel is reimagined into forms that hinder mobility, recontextualizing movement and necessitating the wearer to discover new ways of navigating the world. The pieces act as prostheses of queer transformation, creating a collaborative space between jewelry-object and performance.

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