Kinsley’s work explores his personal and cultural identity defined by the environment of Hamilton, ON. His recent work, Iron Identity evokes and commemorates this identity through the use of oxides, coarse finishing, and the use of steel.
Image: Alex Kinsley Vey. 'Gold für Eisen' ring series, 2018. Steel, paint, 14k gold.
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A selection of work from this exhibition is available for sale in the Craft Ontario online shop.
June 11 - August 14, 2021
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto
‘Iron Identity’ is a solo exhibition of work by Toronto-based contemporary jeweller Alex Kinsley Vey.
“Hamilton, my hometown on the shore of Lake Ontario, has traditionally been a steel producing centre. Despite the industry having died down in recent decades, its industrial activity is still apparent. ‘Iron Identity’ references my time growing up there, and the impact this place had on me.
Brooches, rings and neckpieces evoke and commemorate this identity through the use of oxides, coarse finishing, and sturdy construction. I use colours associated with industrial machinery and abandoned sites – bright colours that contrast signs of rust and deterioration. Transporting this aesthetic to the body allows it to be worn close, displayed with pride, and given reverence as a jewellery object.
The places and structures I reference directly influenced the culture of Hamilton. These former steel mills, manufacturing facilities, and factories provided good, working class jobs, and were once economic symbols announcing the prosperity of the city. Now that we have moved into a post-industrial economy, these places look dirty and out of place. I grew up around the last of these industrial sites when the flame of industry was already diminished. I feel compelled to record the physical and emotional identity of this city in order to come to a better understanding of my own identity.”
– Alex Kinsley Vey
Alex Kinsley Vey is from Hamilton, Ontario, where he received jewellery training from his parents. Moving to Toronto in 2010, Alex studied jewellery at George Brown College, receiving an Advanced Diploma in Jewellery Arts in 2013. Alex has shown work in Canada, Europe, and the United States. He has been a member of Craft Ontario since 2012, Klimt02 since 2017, and was a Harbourfront Centre Craft and Design Artist-in-Residence from 2015-2019. He is currently a member at Jewel Envy in Toronto's west-end. Alex is a sessional instructor at OCAD University in Toronto, and has previously taught at George Brown College in Toronto, and NSCAD University in Halifax.
Alex is represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, Montréal.
'Iron Identity' is part of the 2021 DesignTO Festival, January 22-31.
The artist gratefully acknowledges support from the Toronto Arts Council.
Craft Ontario exhibitions are supported by the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.