Reflecting on the "Redeemed Necklace and Earrings" Set

Last month, I challenged myself to create a religious themed work of art in honor of Church sponsored event in Kingston, NY.  My source of inspiration was the Christian concept of Redemption and being redeemed.
Both "redemption" and "redeemed" are powerful words that have 3 stages:
  1. a person or object is devalued, debased, or discarded. (You have to experience criticism or hardship before you can experience redemption!...There are no workarounds.)
  2. someone or some One admires the potential in the under valued person or object which causes them show interest, respect, love, and appreciation for the undervalued person/object.
  3. that act of receiving that interest, respect, love, and appreciation increases the undervalued person's sense of self worth/reputation and increases the object's external value. The person/object is redeemed.
Redemption increases the status and value of something/someone that was once perceived to be worthless.  For many of us who are religious, knowing that we are redeemed helps us love ourselves as we become more confident, empathetic, and resilient (able to recover from mistakes).
I am redeeming materials every time I incorporate salvaged materials in my wearable art pieces. I am learning to appreciate imperfection (natural beauty), to redeem discarded items (give it a new purpose), and redefine what I consider to be waste (finding the treasure in trash). Salvaging is both a transformative and gratifying experience. I can only imagine how wonderful it must feel to be redeemed.
Photo created by Seun Adeniyi.

I chose a white color scheme because white is a symbol of rebirth.  It is also the Roman Catholic color associated with the sacrament of baptism.  I intentionally selected off white salvaged beads to convey the feelings of imperfection in the first stage of the redemption process.   I selected the filigree cross to remind Christians that we are redeemed because Jesus died on the cross to atone for humanity's sins.  I selected mother of pearl beads because it is the runner up to pearl... the very, very distant runner up to the pearl.  Mother of pearl is found on the under side an oyster shell and was pried open then thrown away to get to the pearl.  But eventually, someone realized its beautiful luster and redeemed it by incorporating it into jewelry and clothing accessories.  

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