Brooch

Garrison, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Garrison’s evocative, dream-inspired brooches often allude to such natural phenomena as leaves, pods, tendrils, and fish or to elemental forces in nature such as the eruption of a volcano or the ebb and flow of tides.  Combining found objects with silver and enamel, she creates small, wearable dreamscapes charged with a rich admixture of memory and imagination.  The titles Garrison assigns her pieces such as “In Many Dreams Strange and Beautiful Things are Found in the Ocean,” “The Swimmer of Dreams,” or, more simply, “Volcano Dream” underscore the evocative nature of her work.  As her titles suggest, many of Garrison’s pieces are inspired by her dreams.  Believing that jewelry is among the most apt vehicles for such subject matter, she has stated, “The medium of jewelry is particularly well suited for the depiction of dream imagery because of its inherent personal, intimate, and magical quality.  Sometimes I create pieces about a specific dream and sometimes about an image which is contained in many dreams.  I am always interested in communicating the feeling of the night and the mystery and strangeness of it.”

A masterful enamelist, Garrison is also an accomplished metalsmith.  Throughout her body of work, long-flowing, curvilinear lines in metal, most often silver, unite the disparate enameled parts of her composition and lend further vitality to her subject.

Born in Elmira, New York in 1952, Garrison received her BFA from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida where she studied from 1970 to 1973.  She subsequently studied at Mansfield State College, PA (1976 – 1978) and in 1980 was awarded her MS from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Yale University Art Gallery; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Honolulu Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, and numerous private collections.  She has also been in exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; and the Museum of Arts and Design, New York.