In her latest body of work Of Ophidia, Mallory Weston creates seductive wearable snakeskins and intricately patterned surfaces constructed entirely from a palette of precious metals. Using the painstaking technique of stitching metal scales individually onto the surface of fabric, Weston creates a hybrid textile that gives the appearance of a solid metal surface but moves with the fluidity of fabric and mimics the enticing movements of a serpent. These pieces come alive on the body, contouring perfectly to the form of the wearer, transforming with every movement and giving life to the constructed skin.
Weston’s detailed jewelry and objects are rendered scale by scale to form the distinct patterns of pythons, constrictors, and vipers. After a larger exploration of icons and the life of symbols in her work, Weston has shifted her focus to working with snake and serpent related imagery. This study stems from a fascination with snakes both as creatures and the complex and mysterious set of meanings that the snake as a symbol has come to represent. With a multitude of positive and negative connotations, snakes are a creative and destructive force.
Snakes, as creatures, are naturally capable of arousing powerful contradictory responses in observers, from awe and fascination to disgust and panic. In this body of work, Weston channels the connection between serpents and their powerful ability to seduce and captivate. Weston utilizes the potency of materials and processes to illustrate these elusive qualities.
Jewelry has a reputation for inspiring infatuation, envy, and lust through the use of brilliant stones, sleek vivid enamel, and gleaming precious metals. Weston practices a similar sleight of hand in the hope of imbuing that same hypnotic fascination in her work. In pieces that strive to illuminate a lexicon of desire, alluring materials, rich pattern, and hypnotizing movement call out to the viewer to touch, wear, and covet.
Mallory Weston is an artist currently living and working in Philadelphia, PA. Her work involves a marriage between traditional jewelry techniques and textile techniques and she creates large-scale wearable pieces that allow metal to move with the fluidity of fabric. Her most current body of work, to premier at PULSE Miami in 2016 includes larger non-wearable objects. She recently received her MFA in Jewelry + Metalsmithing from Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 2013. In addition to her studio practice, she works as a professor of Jewelry and Metals at several Philadelphia area colleges and universities. She maintains an active exhibition schedule, participating in group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. In the spring of 2016 she was selected as an artist in residence with the Artist Studios program at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Her work can be found in the permanent collection of the CODA Museum in the Netherlands.