5cm / 2in
Bella figura is part of our most recent collection, Studio Visit. The title reflects how it all came together: during the initial phase of the pandemic-caused lockdown in New York City, I went through my archival materials at the studio in order to assemble new pieces. I was determined to use existing parts, repurposed metals and stones for this new set. While doing so, I kept circling back to images in my head, breathtakingly beautiful impressions of a hiking trip in Arizona's Verde Valley in mid December 2019. These "views" filled me with gratitude and gave me a sense of perspective throughout the lockdown and far beyond.
What currently is known as the Verde Valley in central Arizona is the home and ancestral land of the Yavapai-Apache Nation which unites two distinct people: the Yavapai who speak the Yuman language and the Apache who speak the Athabaskan language. In 1876, the U.S. Government forcibly removed and displaced the Yavapai and Apache tribes from their original homelands and marched more than 1,500 people in the middle of winter to the San Carlos Indian Reservation, also known as “Hell’s Forty Acres” due to its inhumane and deplorable conditions. Around 1900, an estimated 200 Yavapai and Apache people returned to the Verde Valley where they now form a single political entity while remaining culturally distinct.
I am deeply grateful for the many walks I was allowed to take on those sacred lands and for all the views I still carry in my chest—the valleys, canyons, creeks, red rock formations, the colors at dusk and dawn and the many beautiful plants and winding paths.
As a gesture of gratitude I am donating $7 of each sold piece of this collection to the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to the self-determination of Native Peoples and the sovereignty of their distinct Nations. Currently, the organization is mobilizing funds to grant direct support to (already!) crisis-impacted Indigenous communities on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please, if you are able to, consider making a donation outside of this context as well.
Please note that this piece is hand-assembled in Brooklyn and shipped from here too by the US Postal Service, an independent agency that we greatly appreciate and have been been working with since day one of this online store. All prices include shipping fees. We kindly request your patience with international orders! Thank you.
In addition to your new earrings, you will receive a polishing cloth as well.
Photography: Sedon Pepper