Artist and jewelry designer Debra Baxter (previously) explores the endurance of grief, mortality, and human bonds in Love Tears. Comprised of anatomical and figurative sculptures, the multifaceted series blend alabaster, quartz, and wood with delicate glass or metal to create forms that contrast the fragility of the body and natural world with the rugged topographies of crystals and rock.
Simultaneously corporeal and unearthly, the spliced works evoke the Victorian tradition of mourning jewelry, which used various motifs and deep colors as memorials. In “Catch Your Breath,” for example, branch-like veins in bronze sprawl throughout crystalline lungs, while “Love Hard” bisects a smooth, glass heart with spiky quartz. “There’s inevitable pain in every form of love,” Baxter says about the series. “I’m fascinated by the ways in which we decorate this grief and mourning, and I wanted to see how far I could push myself with balancing the immediate, often ornate, demonstration of loss, and my use of permanent materials. This is about loss and legacy.”
Love Tears will be on view at Santa Fe’s form & concept gallery from October 29, 2021, to January 15, 2022, and you can find more of Baxter’s bodily works on Instagram.
“Crystal Brass Knuckles (forever)” (2021), sterling silver and quartz, 5 x 4.5 x 2 inches
Left: “Soften the Blow” (2021), walnut and glass, 9.25 x 10 x 7.5 inches. Right: “Tear Jerker” (2021), alabaster and glass, 9 x 6 x 6 inches
“Love Hard” (2020), glass and quartz, 8 x 3 x 3.5 inches
Left: Detail of “Ear to the Ground” (2020), alabaster and glass, 10 x 4 x 3 inches. Right: “See No Evil” (2020), alabaster and green onyx, 12 x 7 x 4 inches
“Holding It Together” (2021), bronze and amethyst, 9 x 16 x 5 inches