Pair Bonding, 2015
23” x 19”
China, wire, glass, mortar, pigment
Pair Bonding, built completely from my paternal grandmother’s late 1930’s wedding china, has its roots in a contemplation of how the institution of marriage – human pair bonding – has evolved in the generations between her marriage (1937) and mine (1984) and beyond. The changes have been significant: today we’re free to marry whomever we wish at whatever age/status we wish – or not marry at all – without (for the most part) risking ostracism, being fired from a job, or being thought defective. But what hasn’t seemed to change is our tendency to choose partners (whether we marry them or not) who are different from us, whose metaphorical knees and elbows hit us at odd places and require adjustment, attuning, a learned alignment.
All the pieces in this mosaic are paired and bound together with wire. In selecting the pairs, I looked for pieces that didn’t spoon together identically. It would have been much easier and less time consuming if each pair hadn’t required accommodation of one anothers’ “knees and elbows,” but perfect fits probably wouldn’t exhibit the hard-won grace that each of these unique pairs do.