Angela Grace Arsenault
Angela Grace was born into and raised up by a family of sea farers and creatives on otherworldly Cape Breton Island. Perched on the edge of the North Atlantic, Cape Breton is salty, feisty and ethereally beautiful - qualities Angela strives to embrace in her artwork.
Following a fine art degree from NSCAD University in Halifax, Angela Grace found her niche in jewelry in Vancouver, Canada. Originally she created award winning unwearable works of fine jewelry for Gallery display. Longing to share her work with a broader audience, Angela joined the commercial sphere in 2011 when she launched Angela Grace Jewelry to great acclaim.
Angela has shown her work in Vancouver BC, Cape Breton NS, Halifax NS, Toronto ON, Cannes, France as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. She lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Metal has a hardness and a warmth about it that reminds me of the people who populate the Island I call home. Cape Breton Island, a small island on the most eastern edge of Canada, was once the industrial hub of the country. We hauled coal from the depths of the earth and used that fuel to make steel. For those reasons, it seems fitting and familiar to me that metal is my medium of choice. Another home. It’s in my blood.
I grew up next to a Steel Plant, the infamous Tar Ponds were in my backyard, the playground I played on as a child was built on the by-products of metal, a stone like substance called slag. I love the way metal smells, the way it feels and the challenges it presents to me. When I think about metal, I think of its enveloping nature, its endless possibilities, its slight give under the pressure of a hand tool. Metal is far more subtle and delicate than we often think it is, yet it’s outcome appears solid, final, authoritative. These contradictions appeal to me. I see them reflected in myself.
Before I approach my metalwork I try to consider every possibility, from every angle. I build the piece in my mind, over and over until I understand it thoroughly and mechanically. I spend hours in research and I make pages of notes. It is at this point, after careful consideration, that I approach the metal, and my body knows instinctively how to manipulate it to reach my desired outcome.
Throughout my body of work, I have recounted my Island stories and myths from a variety of angles, and themes emerge – memory, self identity, geography, religion, and death. These themes are a result of my constant exploration of the narratives that have made up my existence; I wade through memories, stories and old family photos to unearth the myths that lie under their surface. My work is a reaction to family and geographical mythologies, but also a vessel to carry these narratives into the present.
-Angela Grace Arsenault
Angela Grace Jewelry uses 100% recycled precious metals.