Cochleae Cordis, Object and Pendant, 2017. Bone, antler, shells, resin, spessartine garnets, spinel, South Sea, freshwater and Tahitian pearls, 22k, 18k rose and yellow gold, palladium, iron oxide, laser etched vintage nautical map
Jennifer Trask is notable for jewelry and sculpture that combines animal bone, fragments of Baroque picture frames, and gold leaf, as well as jewelry of precious metal, gemstones, and organic substances such as snake vertebrae. Her newest works are her most personal to date. Entitled "Accretion," they focus on the heart - romantically as well as literally. One piece - a pendant - was suggested by the natural curvature of a deer skull bone, coincidentally in the shape of a human heart; it emphasizes the sentimental aspects of jewelry by its placement at the end of a long necklace of white, black, and gray pearls, which attract Trask not only for their beauty and nostalgic associations but because pearl breaks down to calcium carbonate, like bone. Rust is another substance that currently serves as both inspiration and actuation, suggested by the heart of King Richard I - also known as Richard the Lionheart. The organ was found in a lead box beneath an effigy located on Richard's sarcophagus at the Church of Notre-Dame in Rouen; it had completely decomposed into powdered rust but was, nonetheless, later re-buried within his coffin. Also on view will be new carved and layered encaustic panels, informed by vintage wallpaper, and several of Trask's sinuous wall installations. Like her jewelry, the latter is constructed from animal bones, repurposed wood, and gold leaf. Several of the pieces that were exhibited in the Renwick Invitational 2016: Visions and Revisions (where Trask was one of four chosen multimedia artists) will be included in this exhibition.
Trask is the recipient of a BFA in Metalsmithing from Massachusetts College of Art and MFA from SUNY New Paltz. For the past twenty years, she has exhibited both nationally and internationally. She was one of four specially-selected multimedia artists included in the Renwick Invitational 2016: Visions and Revisions. Along with the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., works by Trask can be found in numerous public and private collections.