Amelia Toelke

Statement from the artist:

Ornament is far from supplemental. We adorn ourselves, our spaces, our lives to communicate who we are. The profound impulse to adorn is at the root of who we are as humans and jewelry has long acted as our personal, portable signage. Still today when we move through the world wearing heirloom works of art, gem-encrusted showstoppers, or trendy statement pieces, our jewelry quietly performs complex social functions expressing aesthetic taste, wealth, marriage status, cultural background, religious views and political associations. The deep connection between jewelry and those who wear it frames how I understand the world and inspires my creative practice. By engaging the languages of adornment and signage my work explores jewelry’s multifaceted roles and speaks to the unique relationship between identity, culture, and ornament.