Topiary Circus, new work by Brooke Marks-Swanson

Brooke Marks-Swanson introduces her latest body of work, Topiary Circus. Always inspired by her immediate environment and daily life, Marks-Swanson translates her own observations or obsessions through an approach to jewellery that combines metalsmithing with textile construction. This new series is a response to the upheavals caused by the pandemic, a desire to translate anxiety and fear while seeking an escape through the ritual of creation. She draws her inspiration from topiary art, which involves patience, meticulousness, and a close interaction with nature’s fluctuations, resulting in an eclectic combination of geometric shapes, not without recalling the chaos in which we are living at the moment. This series of colourful and flamboyant works cleverly combines rigour and frivolity and, by means of a visual reference to circus through shapes and colours, offers a brighter vision of the period we are going through.

Brooke Marks-Swanson lives and works in South Bend, Indiana, in the Midwestern United States. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois (MFA 2003) and Indiana University (BFA 1999). Her work has been shown in over 100 juried and invitational exhibitions and has been included in various publications over the past decade. The Muzeum Walbrzychu (Poland), the Sparta Teapot Museum of Craft and Design (North Carolina) and the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Oregon) are among the museum institutions that include Mars-Swanson’s work in their collections.