Hilary Koster

individual, ENTITY.2845
Life Dates:
b. 1981
GVSU Alumni Status:
GVSU Alum, 2008
Artist Biography:
Artist Statement: After my grandmother passed away, I inherited several hand-tatted doilies from her collection. I was intrigued with the delicate patterning of the lace work as well as the enormous amount of work that went into their creation. I decided to explore ways to interpret these designs in metal. Taking inspiration from two-dimensional doilies, I created three-dimensional neck pieces. Their forms are reminiscent of Elizabethan ruffs, which were worn as an essential accessory in the 16th century and often elaborately decorated with fine fabrics overstated, almost consuming the body. I find great interest in the contradiction and sense of tension created through the contrasting delicate qualities of the wire and pattern working against the sheer amount of material and scale of the object. Although the work was initially motivated by a formal/technical investigation, it became very personal as I explored loss and dealing with death. While researching for this body of work, I looked to mourning jewelry from the Victorian Era. Much of the jewelry from this time period incorporate locks of hair as mementos from deceased loved ones. Often complex weaving techniques, similar to knitting and crocheting, were used. The black wire chosen for the neck pieces holds a strong resemblance to that of hair and conveys an emotional heaviness. In contrast, the silver neck pieces, with their delicate patterns, signify elegance while conveying an emotional and ephemeral quality.