SHARON PORTELANCE
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“Grey Matter” has dual references to both the physical and psychological. As we know, grey matter is found in the spinal cord and in the regions of the brain that involve muscle control and sensory perception, such as seeing, hearing, memory and emotions. Grey is liminal. A medial hue of black and white - it is the color of the space in-between.

In this work I have delicately pierced metal leaving a tracery of patterns found inside of our bodies. Working from magnified views of skin, internal systems and organs I attempt to reveal our complexity, hidden frailties and strengths of our physical being. In a quiet and contemplative space, hours have been spent carefully removing metal, giving my hand a task and my mind a focus while I have processed grief and experienced wonderment.

Patterns in the body are often reminiscent of what we find in nature. My work offers us the opportunity to contemplate the intricately woven connections between both our inner and outer worlds.

This work loosely references nineteenth-century mourning jewelry. Corsages, like mourning jewelry operate as personal mementos, reminding us of a person or marking a past event. In some pieces a dialogue exists between the front of the piece and the back. This dialogue suggests the intimate nature between what is private and what is public. With this work I hope to create a relationship between the past and the present, reminding us of how memory changes over time and remains breathing in the present.