ARTIST'S STATEMENTI took up gardening a few years ago and am simply mesmerized by the way things grow up out of the earth — the way they adapt with great resilience to their particular little universes. Strength couples with delicacy; complexity and simplicity live side by side; the predictability of genetics is turned on its head by endless variation. Of course, nature is predictable—you know what you are apt to get if you plant a rose bush. But the earth is also reckless—left to its own devices, it flings its elements about so that nothing ever happens quite the same way twice. In the wild surprise that results, the search for the perfect rose drives many people, but for me perfection doesn't have much personality. I prefer the rose that in its peculiarity, in some strange nuance that is offers up, speaks to me so personally that it captures my imagination. That will be the perfect rose for me.
My work reflects my fascination with the unending nuance of nature's wildness. My unmanicured textures, my dense, dark finishes, my irregular stones and forms all give my work the sense of the organic, the suggestion of age and experience.
And in its connection to the bounty of the earth, my work is an exploration of the female spirit. My shapes are rounded and gentle and full to bursting with some elemental essence of life. My closed forms store the complexity of a single emotion, give strength to some idea held safely within, while my open pods and flowers seem to breathe and grow, to contain the life force in a single simple form. In their natural sweetness, my pieces first ask to be held in the palm of your hand, caressed. But just as the rose's beauty is protected by the threat of its thorns, some of my pieces couple their gentle form with devices of self-protection. Thus they pull you in and keep you at a distance simultaneously. They are the promise and the vulnerability of life, as well as its undying will to protect itself.
I strive for each of my pieces to seem tested, treasured and ancient from its very inception—like a dear old friend, a special inheritance passed down from a revered ancestor, a flower that, for some indiscernible reason, captures a heart and lives on there.
VELVET DA VINCI SHOWS
COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE
Stephen F. Austin State University, BA and MA
San Francisco State University
City College of San Francisco
Mendocino Art Center
Richmond Art Center
Helen Shirk: Traces + Brooke Battles: Order/disorder, San Francisco, CA, 2011
Brooke Battles & Owen McInerney, Lireille, Oakland, CA, 2009
The Pendant Show, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA, 2008
New West Coast Design, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA, 2008
Bay Area Jewelers, Sam Shaw Gallery, Northeast Harbor, ME, 2008
100 Brooches, Velvet da Vinci, 2005, traveling through 2006
house, two-person show, Velvet da Vinci, 2004
ANTI-WAR MEDALS, Artists Respond to the War, Velvet da Vinci, 2003, traveling through 2005
CHESS, Velvet da Vinci, The Vennel Gallery, Irvine, Scotland, The Gallery, Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, Wales, 2003, The Crafts Council Shop, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, Thomas Mann I/O Gallery, 2004
Rock, Paper, Scissors, group show, Velvet da Vinci, 2001
Tiaras Will Be Worn, traveling group show, Velvet da Vinci, 2000-2001
Tucson in Space, Obsidian Gallery, Tucson, Arizona, 2000
Site Specific, Oakland Museum of California Collectors' Gallery, Oakland, 1999
Exemplary Contemporary, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, 1999
Metals: Fin de Siècle, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, California, 1998
Metal Arts Guild Member Show, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California, 1998
Member Sow, Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, California, 1998
SNAG Student Exhibition, Seattle, Washington, 1998
Combined Visions, Obsidian Gallery, Tucson, Arizona, 1998