In Dialog with MJ Tyson

The 2022 Younger Artist Award gives a prize of US$7,500 for the winner and US$1,000 for every of the 4 finalists, in addition to an exhibition at Schmuck in March 2022. Previous recipients of the award say it took their careers to the subsequent degree! For those who’re a jewellery artist age 35 and underneath, you must apply for this biennial competitors. Don’t put it off—the deadline is that this Sunday, January 9, 2022! Tips could be discovered right here. Apply right here.

The three distinguished jurors are collector and gallerist Karen Rotenberg (learn our interview with Rotenberg right here), curator Chequita Nahar (learn her interview right here), and 2020 Younger Artist Award winner MJ Tyson. 

MJ Tyson within the studio, 2020, picture: Reba Kittredge Tyson

Tyson lives in New Jersey, US. She makes jewellery, sculpture, and objects from reconstituted and melted metallic. Tyson acquired her BFA from the Jewellery + Metalsmithing Division at Rhode Island College of Design in 2008, and returned to earn her MFA in 2017. Her work is centered on the connection between individuals and their possessions.

MJ Tyson, Inheritance: Kellen, 2021, reconstituted jewellery, velvet, board, 400 x 203 x 38 mm, picture: artist

Carrie Yodanis: All through 2020, you and your work acquired a lot consideration and reward. Congratulations! What was that have like, and the way did it affect your work?

MJ Tyson: Thanks. It’s difficult to isolate anybody aspect of 2020, so excuse my ramble. I skilled a brand new degree of recognition for my work on the identical time that every little thing in my private and our collective lives started altering. I attempted to take a lesson from my very own course of about retaining a unfastened grip on the best way issues was once.

I actually do imagine in utilizing the previous as gas for the long run, slightly than preserving it. In 2020 all of us noticed how outdated programs should be destroyed with a purpose to construct a brand new world. Over the previous two years my household skilled the passing of many matriarchs and the beginning of a brand new era. You actually can’t have one with out the opposite, are you able to? By means of these experiences I thought of how custom, deference, and inherited patterns can tie us up. Letting go is a vital step in creating our personal current.

I’m grateful for the brand new alternatives that got here in 2020, starting with the AJF Younger Artist Award. Like all artists, what I would like most is to share my work. Talking with Yvonne Montoya for AJF Stay was an actual spotlight, as was my exhibition Inheritance, at Sienna Patti. Many alternatives have been postponed, together with Schmuck 2021, so there’s nonetheless a whole lot of this wave to sit up for. I’m hoping the subsequent few years can be a time of reconnection.

MJ Tyson, work in progress, 2020, picture: artist

With success typically comes a duty to assist others get their careers off the bottom. How do you see your position as a mentor to new jewelers—together with now, as a juror for AJF’s 2022 Younger Artist Award?

MJ Tyson: I’ve been wanting ahead to being a juror for the previous two years! I can’t wait to see the submissions and focus on work with the opposite jurors. It’s an incredible honor to assist choose the subsequent group of finalists.

Many individuals have helped me alongside my very own path. I respect when individuals have made introductions, supplied encouragement, and engaged in dialog about my work. I attempt to do these identical issues for my college students and friends. I don’t know if that’s mentorship precisely. I consider it extra as being an lively participant locally.

MJ Tyson, Inheritance: Elana, 2021, reconstituted jewellery, velvet, board, 419 x 419 x 32 mm, picture: artist

We regularly consider jewellery as being worn. However in your work, you pay a whole lot of consideration to the attractive containers that maintain your items when they don’t seem to be being worn. Do you put on your individual work? Why or why not?

MJ Tyson: I don’t put on most of my very own work. I do put on a hoop that’s created from gold given by my household and pals. Its contents embrace somebody’s gold tooth, a appeal from my finest pal, and bits from every of my grandparents. These issues are unrecognizable now, however I do know they’re in there. Apart from that, I don’t put on a lot. I do love jewellery, personal jewellery, and treasure what I’ve. The best way I make jewellery now displays how I expertise it.

A lot jewellery spends its life tucked away for safekeeping. It carries tales and significance even whether it is hardly ever worn. I seen that a few of these unworn and treasured objects dwell in particular containers. I make containers like this to finish the work in my Inheritance sequence, indicating that they’re objects meant to be saved.

In an interview final yr, you requested a query that I really like. You stated, “What do we expect we’re doing, accumulating like we’ll by no means die, when in actuality most of our possessions will outlive us?” What do you assume we’re doing?

MJ Tyson: I believe we’re attempting to increase ourselves. We’re constructing a form of nest of fabric round our lives. The stuff lives with us, we dwell with it. It builds us up and reminds us of who we’re. We don’t fear about what is going to occur to it subsequent as a result of we’re attempting to not die.

I’m an incredible fan of stuff and I don’t wish to dwell in an austere world, however I do assume there’s a level the place our conduct signifies a break with actuality. How we really feel about our possessions displays the best way that we really feel about ourselves, in my view. Anti-aging, embalming, consumerism, and nostalgia are all signs of the identical dysfunction. I’ve all 4 of those tendencies—every is about striving for immortality—on my thoughts whereas I work. I do my finest to maneuver in opposition to them. Working in response to one thing all the time incorporates somewhat little bit of that factor, so preservation, entombing, commerce, and sentimentality are all current alongside decay, destruction, consolidation, and launch.

MJ Tyson, Inheritance: Elana (element), 2021, reconstituted jewellery, velvet, board, 419 x 419 x 32 mm, picture: artist

Your work is targeted on the importance of objects in individuals’s lives, even after they’ve died. Of your entire items, have you ever made the one you imagine will finest characterize you and your work after you have handed away, or do you assume that one has but to be made?

MJ Tyson: I’d wish to be recognized for my course of. I hope that every little thing I make is recast into one thing new, whether or not by me or by another person.

Written by colin

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