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Original artwork | Copper and aluminium with leather strap

Bloom is a response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic of 2020. The medical mask has become somewhat of a symbol of the pandemic. The sight of the mask often induces fear and anxiety. I have taken the concept of the medical mask and created a piece that instead aims to promote an uplifting and positive response. A mass of blooming flowers emerges from the mask. Blooming flowers represent growth and life. They are a reminder to us that we will get through this pandemic if we work together.

I wanted my piece to encourage positive thoughts, especially to help people who have been experiencing mental health issues in the pandemic. The social isolation and anxiety forced by this pandemic have significant mental health issues for many people. We need to remember to care for our physical health, our mental health and each other during and after this traumatic event.

Bloom is a saw pierced piece created from my pile of discarded aluminium and copper. I have also incorporated recycled plastic as an additional layer of the flowers. I used surplus aluminium wire to create the chain and hand rivet the flowers into position. The leather cord was left-over from a previous project. It was important to me that I did not leave my home for any materials for this project as I wanted to create a piece from what I had cast-off and was lying around my house. As a community, it has been vital that we stay at home and only leave our houses for essential supplies. This project helped me to be productive and support this essential prerequisite for managing COVID-19 and safeguard the health of our communities.

Currently on display in the Academics in Pandemic online exhibition available on the Ethical Metalsmiths website.