"Even at the subatomic level nature presents images of itself that reflect our own imaginings." 1
Ann Parkin’s current work is an exploration of new possibilities in technique and materials, as well as the expression of a new imagery for art jewelry.
Historically, art and particularly craft, have been vehicles for the symbols, images and visual metaphors of society's current view of its world and the "nature" of which it finds itself a part. Discoveries and techniques at the leading edge of science have given us astounding views of new levels of nature and reality and have provided opportunities for the development of a new set of imagery and symbols for our time. Parkin’s work has been inspired by the vast visual potential of such scientific areas as electron microscopy, nuclear imaging, "Chaos" physics, and particularly subatomic particle physics.
The graphic imagery of Parkin’s current work is not, in the traditional sense, abstract but rather is a representational view of nature that we are among the first generations to see. The images of the Particle Shower series are based upon the visual records of subatomic particle physics, which show the tracks left by subatomic particles as they pass through the bubble and cloud chambers once used by nuclear physicists.
To express this new visual information, the artist explores a combination of traditional metalworking techniques and materials, such as fused and hand-fabricated sterling silver, and non-traditional materials and techniques including Formica® ColorCore®, as well as epoxy resin and artist's pigments.
Parkin reflects that, “It has been said that Science is the Religion of the modern age. If that is even in part true, then it points the way to an exciting new approach to ornamentation and imagery that goes beyond the commonly observable surface reality to re-establish the fundamental role of art/craft - the articulation and expression of underlying patterns of the natural order as an integral aspect of our created personal environment.”
Born in Toronto, Canada in 1956, Ann Parkin received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University in 1978 and a Gemological Diploma from the Gemological Association of Great Britain in 1987. She studied metalwork, jewelry and enameling at the 92nd Street Y in New York City with renowned jewelry artists Robert Ebendorf, Rebekah Laskin, Charles Lewton-Brain and John Cogswell.
Parkin’s work has appeared in group exhibitions, and as a featured artist, at Aaron Faber Gallery, NYC; Oms Gallery, NJ; Objects of Desire, Louisville, KY; Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA; Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA; New Jersey Designer Craftsmen Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ; Greater Denton Arts Council, Denton, TX; Artist-Craftsmen of New York, NYC; Crafts National 26, Penn State University, PA; The Farrell Collection, Washington, DC; Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, OR; Views Gallery, Manayunk, PA; Sculpture to Wear, Los Angeles, CA; Craft Students League, NYC; Joan Michlin Gallery, NYC.
Ann Parkin currently lives and works in Westchester County, New York.