Ben Cooke-Akaiwa

I have had a long-standing love affair with colour in my work. Colour is a safe place for me, and I often return to it. Like a jeweller to a diamond, I cannot seem to help myself. Metals have a colour to them, yet feel largely colourless to me, the dull grey of the steel I work with begs to be covered. I add the lacking vibrancy through enamels, spray paint, and powder coating. This heavily saturated colour palette challenges the innately austere surface of the steel. This work was developed during my time as an Artist-in-Residence at the Baltimore Jewellery Centre in late 2020. The surfaces of these brooches reference mid-century colour field painting. The resulting abstracted landscapes do not reference reality but still evoke a sense of place. Perhaps the side of a building, a series of hills, or a dead-end road.

Ben is a jeweller and metalsmith in Bloomington, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana University in 2019 with a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewellery Design. He has supplemented his education through workshops at Arrowmont Craft School and short apprenticeship in Japan. He has participated in artist residencies at the Baltimore Jewellery Center and Arrowmont. Ben has exhibited his work internationally, in The United States, The Netherlands, Germany, and Canada.