This week's artist is New Zealander Alan Preston. Preston's work blends all the things I'm interested in, nature, the ocean, meditation, prayer, materials, and poetry. I love the honesty of his materials and the simplicity of his designs. He uses all of my favorite things: shell, stone, string, and a little metal. The handling of these materials is minimal. They are allowed to be as they are, with only a few alterations which enhance their beauty without disguising their humble nature.
Preston's work is heavily influenced by Pacific cultures and Pacific adornment. I find myself fascinated with the idea of the Pacific, having never seen it, and living so close to the Atlantic. The work its self intrigues me, "pax" being Latin for "peace" (pacific, pacifist). The Atlantic being "of Atlas". There is also a layer of the sacred to Preston's work. The guilded seeds evoke a rosary or prayer beads. The designs cut out of the large shell breast plates, based of designs from the windows of a church in Auckland.
Perhaps I'm reading too much into simple pieces of simple adornment. However, it's nice to see nature's cast offs treated with such care and reverence.
Thanks for reading!