Beatrice Carlson is an Artist in every sense of the word, creativity runs through her veins. As a Contemporary Jewellery Artists, Beatrice sustainably & ethically sources her materials - using previous metals, as well as 'treasures' found all over New Zealand. We have a range of Beatrice's work available in our galleries & on on website so we thought it was the perfect time to get to know a little more about her & her work.
What do you make/art practice?
I am an interdisciplinary artist; I am a visual artist, a printmaker with a fashion design background. The medium I have been using for the last 3 years to translate my stories is Sterling Silver and Greenstone; I am a contemporary jeweller.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Morning: walk, swim (at the moment) do yoga or Pilates; then, coffee/sketches. I am ready to work in my home studio!
How did it all begin - where did this passion for the arts come from?
Well, I have been always surrounded by makers: both grand mothers seamstresses and my great grand mother hand embroiderer. I guess it is why I ended up doing a diploma in fashion design & pattern-making!
When we arrived in New Zealand 17 years ago, I designed apparel corporate fashion for 10 years. I also started to exhibited my work on Perspex in Galleries and I developed interest for printmaking and a non-toxic technique called solarplate etching.
I started combining the different part of my practice by entering the WOW (World of WearableArt) competition in 2010, my garment made of perspex using digital images I created got runner up in Aotearoa section.
Since 2010, I have been 10 times finalist, with a winning award in 2012 too. And then, I decided to create “mini pieces of wearable art” doing jewellery. The change of medium is a logic evolution of my practice!
Where do you find inspiration as an Artist?
Everywhere… which is sometimes difficult because my mind never stop wondering! Morning walks, road trips, shells, stones, wood… everything…
And then, in night time pieces go together like a puzzle and the morning after, I sketch when I drink my coffee and the work is done! Well… it is only the beginning of a the feeling of an idea…
What is the themes/inspiration/stories behind your pieces?
I am French; there will be always a little bit of it in my pieces… I talk about New Zealand, I talk about my ancestry and the strong link and interaction in between my two cultures.
I use Pounamu (sourced in Hokitika) with sterling silver. I created a method using my printmaking press to emboss the metal with French lace.
But, mostly, the stones and the material I use “talk” to me. They are the one to tell me what to make, how and why! I have done few storyboards that will tell you more than words!
What do you love most about working & living in Aotearoa?
People! I came here to visit the country and meet my husband parents and fell in love for the people. Kind, genuine, generous.
Then, the landscape, the colours, the smells…the food…
How has your artwork change over time?
As I said before, same practice different medium that interact all together.
Since Covid-19, my work is more personal. I needed to find my purpose and re-define who and how I could translate that in my pieces.
How/Has the digital space affected your artwork?
As a visual artist, I have always been working with computer and digital features. No change for me!
What is your studio/creative space like?
Paradise… My studio faces a beautiful garden, I feel very privileged to work in this environment!
It has not always been like this though but it makes me appreciate everyday what I have and help other people in need.
What would you like your legacy/lasting impression to be as an Artist?
An artist that uses jewellery to say, help, engage. This Year, I have been involved (amongst thousands of other jewellers in the world) in the Hand Medal Project. We were asked to create from a template hands and make medals to offer to all the caregivers of the world. To show our appreciation to the dedication and sacrifice of those people that work so hard to save lives from C-19.
What drew you to working with The Poi Room?
I met Melanie-Jane a while ago and I always thought we will work together…It was meant to be!
Describe your relationship with The Poi Room & how our values fit with your business.
Love going there, the feeling is always welcoming. The Team is great and very attentive to clients and artists. People for people.