Social Engagement & Activism > Meditations: A Collaborative Project

Smulovitz, art jewelry, charcoal, collaboration, Kirsten Furlong, Erin Cunningham
Meditations: A Collaborative Project
charcoal, steel, patinated copper, 18k gold, sterling silver
18" x 6" x 1"; 35" length unclasped

A Collaborative Project

Creating artwork during the COVID19 Pandemic was scattered with so many new demands on our time with work and family. With physical distancing a necessity to navigating our reality, collaboration to move forward with hope and healing felt essential. This strand of beads passed from artist to artist, allowing each to create until the charcoal had transferred from the beads to their creations, revealing hidden seeds and objects inside each bead. The process of working with the beads left both a visible physical and an emotional mental record of the interaction on the makers. Through meditation and collaboration, seeds of hope and healing can be found.

This strand of meditation beads I created has thirteen charcoal beads held together with steel wire with gold dandelion seeds inside the beads that only reveal their existence after the charcoal has been used. The “tassel” has five patinated copper dandelion leaves. This strand of beads went on its collaborative journey. The artists that have interacted with this project: Kirsten Furlong, Erin Cunningham, April VanDeGrift, and Garth Claasen.

Kirsten Furlong worked with the beads, creating several abstract drawings and a detailed drawing of dandelions (12" diameter, charcoal on paper). Kirsten passed this strand of beads on to Erin Cunningham who created two experimental drawings influenced by images of how COVID19 affects the lungs. Erin passed the beads on to April VanDeGrift, who then passed the beads on to Garth Claasen.

Each artist passed the beads on to another artist. It was my hope that through these objects, this project would bring people and communities together in a meaningful way. I had envisioned this as a large project with many artists joining together to create one collective collaborative work. In the end, it only joined the five of us, however, I felt it was a successful project and meaningful during this very isolating time.