Queen Elizabeth 1

Artist: Mary BeldeVere
Dimensions:350 X 300
Medium: salvaged scrap and jewells

Artist Profile

I have been creating most of my life. I came out of the closet a while ago as a craftswoman, a tinkerer, a smith? well an artist for sure. I am also a mother, three sons... I finally discovered who I am as an artist and what turns my crank so to speak. There is pioneering in my blood, there is something ancient in craft that resonates with me. Metal , It is solid and it rusts.I love the smell of coal in my nostrils, It brings out the past, and the hard work of forging metal, and somewhere inside, I remember my ancestry I enjoy the contrast of making something soft and feminine with traditionally “masculine” tools. Steam punk faeries. Warrior women made from scrap.Junk and Jewels , It is significant to me. I push the boundaries between heavy and soft and the other world. Copper is such a beautiful metal to work with, I love the process of heating and beating it. I love to scavenge scrap and take one's junk and make another's treasure. I set myself a challenge trusting the initial vision, pushing myself to take a piece to a form of completion. The piece pushes me. I find answers and empowerment. Some things take time.I found my unorthodox method of crafting has commanded a respect of its own. It could have been easier if I had planning, engineering and design at the forefront of my mind, starting a piece, yet, what I have going for me is flow, vision and a bloody headstrong mind to see it through.I am blessed to have worked among many creative people on festivals, movie sets, in wardrobe and theatre, with artisans, master crafters and crafters in markets. Craft is in my upbringing, it is in my blood. photographers, glass-blowers, storytellers, jewellers, tailors and smiths.... I believe what ever we can see and believe we can achieve. It just so happens I see a lot of armour, spirit, masculine and feminine energy in the form of folklore when I look upon the scrap metal heap.

Artist Statement

A drill bit from an artisan water bore….To me it looked just like the frills on Queen Elizabeth 1st skirt. I had watched a movie with Cate Blanchett playing the Queen, so dainty and feminine and yet a few particular shots in the scene, there she stands, the Queen of her country, at war, married to her people. Masculine in her stance, heavily weighted down and yet still, flowing and feminine and fierce. This is the first of my sculptures, she took a long time to make, I had to find her piece by piece, her head came last and I felt myself apoligising to her and calling her my lady. I wish now I knew how to sew, I would make her clothes again now that I have fashioned her body, but instead I had to settle for a finish place and move on, I have made many more pieces since then, mostly with armour or wings, mostly all sold, Yet this one for some reason stands there heavy and proud in a leaque of her own as she has royalty on her side, I can see a whole theme… a bit like chess pieces somehow….

How I was affected

COVID-19 Caronavirus, I had a dream about it just last night. It has made an impact in my life. Firstly I feel fortunate, lucky and blessed, thankful. I am greatful to be with my family, Living the good life in Aotearoa , Tangaroa in front of my house , Tane Mahuta the bush behind, fresh water and freedom. We have the freedom to be our selves even with the world in lockdown. I collected mussels on the beach with my kids, I made craft and sold two commission pieces on NZ Made Products during lockdown. I have doubted myself so much in the world and talked myself down, and yet when faced with a world wide pandemic and seeing how others fare up, I remember to be get on with it. To be who I am, for only once I am me in this body with these thoughts, my body sufferers in damp with arthritis , I can feel the woe is me creep up , and really who the hell am I to complain? I have been given the time, the gift of freedom, the chance to scavenge, the ability to see the best in most things, to be thrifty , to survive. My people have worked hard, I have worked hard, and here I am at the bottom of the world covered in a long white cloud, Blessed to have had ancestors and guides to pave the way, blessed to have not not fight so hard for basic survival, that somewhere in my life, I can take the time, lock myself away and debate in all seriousness whether a part is too rusty to use, how to attach a shiny piece of metal to it, what material goes with it and what I need to do next. That very moment my all is consumed in the sheer belief this piece can come alive and I have been gifted the space to perform and the pride to call myself a craftswoman. Meanwhile Jacinda our prime minister is honoured world wide for her compassion and care, our government steers the waka in this time of uncertainty , the waves pound upon our beach, and we walk free as family, looking for treasures and blessed in time. the sun is shining, we are together and we have never felt so greatful to be here and to be us, my cheeky spirit feels the urge to do a Carona Faerie , beautiful and shining, wearing a mask, out stretched arms , offering a Carona Beer for those who desire, Fresh Lemon in her backpack. .... We are so far away from the world, England who founded NZ, the Queen, yet without their history and our ancestry I wouldn't be here in Aotearoa creating Queens from far away lands....

Contact the Artist

Email:marybell14@yahoo.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tinkerstradesandcraftycraftsno1
Website:
This item is for sale: $1126.40