Filomena Demarco 1900-1952  Providence, Rhode Island

From the Artifacts of Filomena Demarco Jewelry

From the artifacts of Filomena Demarco, evolved from old family photographs where the history was unknown and the idea of nostalgia came into play.  By studying the photographs I created a fictional world for my great-grandmother, Filomena Demarco.  Her closet at my grandmother’s house was filled with clothing and photographs that allowed me to step into her world.   On one of my own voyeuristic explorations I was able to discover she was a wealthy, educated woman who enjoyed traveling and owned her own ice cream company in the early 1900’s.    From the images I found I wanted to create a dissimilar history derived from elements in my own life and ones I was able to discover. Growing up, my cousin and I would spend hours watching documentaries on shipwrecks, specifically on the Titanic.  The idea for my great-grandmother’s fictional life came from my own explorations into the abyss.  When a ship submerges into the ocean it becomes a living organism; likewise, when it is removed from the sea floor  it then takes on a new life.  Using the electroforming process, I created a series of bracelets that allowed me to tell a complete story. Electroforming is an organic process where copper grows onto a semi-conductive surface over a wax form. I chose the bracelet, a circular form,  because it allowed me to show the struggle between man-made objects and nature, and how nature can envelop these objects, changing them over time.  Throughout my work, lockets are used as a metaphor for clams or tombstones, and can be viewed as a final resting place for the people who were lost in a shipwreck or as a creation of nature. While the process of creating a piece is tedious and time consuming, I find it rewarding to watch each one take on new life as it is transformed throughout numerous phases of design and varying stages of production, from conception to completion.

                                Ashley Vick- Artist Statement

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