Nora Rochel

I discovered the artist as one might discover an unusual flower taking a walk through the woods.  Towering and obscuring the sunlight, the pillars of our man-made world tap deep into the soil and drink up surface resources until all that remains are smooth clearings, lightly carpeted with the needles begrudgingly sprinkled by the monarchy above.  In this setting, with eyes wide open, it is hard to miss the sparkling white flower of the smaller parts that are defiant in their scarcity, but homogenous in their rest upon the substrate that supports all structures great and small.  This is how I encountered her work, for its working, its inventive handling of the metal (such as the whitening of the silver, and the depthening of the brass), the organic order/disorder and delicacy that is described by her manipulation of the metals… these were both obvious and rewarding, true treasures to find.

Not surprising, then, to read Rochel’s statement and discover that she is motivated by the medicinal and the philosophical in the natural world.  She gives a nod to the medicinal for both its storied traditions and its implied references to time, “with its roots at the very beginning of human history or even before.”  The artist works with organic form the way one might work with abstract painting – to disturb the smoothness, to disturb the square – not for the sake of obliteration but to unveil further distrbutions of ordering concealed in the vitality of things a stage before their manufacture into tools.  Her pieces are not instruments or possessions, but distillations of essentials alive in the saps and flowers of her subjects.

The artist adventures across mediums in her pursuit.  When her metalsmithing strikes the chord she is after, the tone reaches ears and is picked up.  We can only hope these successes drive her further into her investigation.

Artist’s Website: