Chelsea Barlow

Artist Statement: My enameled series, Adorn, was inspired by my experience with eczema, and acne. With this work, I challenge the idea that skin is considered ugly when burdened by the presence of an imperfection. The pieces were crafted to amplify the grotesque appearance and overwhelming feeling of rashes and wounds by having an overt presence on the body as adornment.

The pieces were made by layering specific enamel colors, resembling various scars that can inhabit flesh. Each piece is housed in a setting with bold borders that protect the enamel and enhance the illusion of a blemish being implanted on the skin. When held or worn, the pieces feel heavy, giving a sense of the emotional weight that is carried when one is burdened by the shame that often accompanies these physical wounds.

By taking these imperfections and presenting them on the body as adornment and rendering them in enamel, I suggest that they are more than just a burden; I transform them into beautiful gems to be revered.

Materials: Copper, Brass, Vitreous Enamel, Sand

Dimensions: 3″x1.5″x.5″

Educational Institution: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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