Sophie Coryndon, Honeycomb Marriage Mirror, UK, 2018
Sophie Coryndon’s Honeycomb Marriage Mirrors take inspiration from grotto furniture. From the 16th century onward, grottoes were constructed as fanciful retreats from reality. Throughout Europe, these fantasy structures were adorned with interesting rock formations, fountains, and seashells, continuing through the Rococo period and into the 19th century. The intricate scrollwork, with C and S-curved designs were based on the sea shells.
This ‘fantasy structure’ explores Sophie Coryndon’s interest in bees, a topic she became captivated by after learning about the current global crisis facing the insects. In an effort to capture abandoned “ghost ship hives,” Coryndon employs the lost-wax method, an ancient and labor-intensive technique. Coryndon imagines the carved motifs and scrolls have been built over by bees, using the small spaces between the ornamentation to store honey. It imagines a collaboration where man makes the structure and nature creates the ‘grotto’ or the fantasy element.
Sophie Coryndon combines traditional decorative arts techniques with modern innovation. Material and process driven, she employs multiple disciplines including bronze casting, painting, embroidery, and sculpture to capture elements of the natural world, rooted in historical aesthetics. “Basically, I’m drawn to craftsmanship in any form, especially dying crafts,” says the artist, “But I like to take those things and re-imagine them.”
Inspired by close observation, Coryndon’s work illuminates what is often overlooked. Her enthusiasm for the organic intricacies ever-present in the macrocosm drives her tenacious ambition to transfigure the microscopic into the monumental. This practice of maximalism fosters her desire to, as she states “take things further, make them larger, make them grander, right to the point of lunacy. Insane beauty is what I’m ultimately after.”
Medium: Bronze, 23,5kt Gold Leaf, Antique Mirror
Dimensions: 18” H x 14” W, 45.72 H x 35.56 W cm
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