Calgary artist’s body art created in wake of pulled ligament
By Theresa Tayler, Calgary Herald, May 25, 2010
Mallett’s body has always been a source of inspiration.
The Calgary-based jewelry-maker’s passion for sport and athleticism is one of the driving forces behind her line of geometric, tactile body-fitting pieces.
When the 29-year-old pulled a ligament in her back last December while sweating out plyometrics at the gym, it changed her both physically and creatively.”
I was bed-ridden for weeks. I think the injury subconsciously inspired the new collection,” says Mallett.
The accident happened just months before she had plans to launch the 2010 fall and winter line for her label, Design + Conquer.”
This has been the most challenging collection I’ve done yet. To this day, running and working out has always been the way I release after working on my art. It gets me out of my head and into my body after constantly thinking,” she says.
Doctors told Mallet she would have to wait out the healing process in bed for a few weeks — a boring and creatively stifling diagnosis for a woman who was used to immersing herself in every sport from ringette and soccer to field hockey.
Without consciously thinking about it, she found herself sketching and planning out pieces centred around human movement and the skeleton.”
The most obvious piece is the firewall necklace, or as I always call it, my spine piece,” says Mallett.
She is referring to a visually intriguing chunk of body art, meant to run down a woman’s neck and back.
Mallett was healed and healthy by May 13, the night of her Design + Conquer fall winter 2010 collection launch party, held at the Marquee Room in Calgary.
This is her third collection of jewelry.
The venue is full of friends, family and industry insiders on the night of the launch. They are all lined up to study her bracelets, necklaces and earrings that range in price from $90 to $1,500.
Karen Patrick, Mallett’s mother and biggest fan, has flown in from Vancouver for the event.
She says her daughter was always “a strange mix of jock and artist.”
“She was always drawing as a child, very creative. But she was the biggest tomboy, also. I thought she might go into kinesiology or something in the sports field. But I think she became burned out with sports.”
“Her pieces are absolutely bizarre, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like her work,” says Patrick.
“They’re massive and odd, but intricate, and I totally appreciate it. Where she comes up with her ideas, I have no idea.”
Originally from Vancouver, Mallet has lived in Calgary off and on for 10 years.
She has a bachelor of fine arts in painting from the University of Calgary and went through graphic design school in Halifax.
Mallet’s new line is made from her standard materials of sterling silver and acrylic polymer plastics, which she moulds and creates herself via her own secret technique.”It’s part of my mystique. I can’t give my secret away,” she says, laughing.
Design + Conquer jewelry can be found in Calgary at AG Silver Boutique (Fashion Central) and stores across Canada.
For more information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org
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