Michele Oka Doner
Goddess Minaudière, 2007
sterling silver clutch
15.2 x 17.8 x 5.1 cm
edition of 8 plus 1AP
signed and numbered


A ruthless, yet beautiful biosphere, is the only way to describe the works of Michele Oka Doner. A hunter and gatherer, Doner finds her inspiration from her collected objects of intrigue, from archaeological finds such as fossils and stone tools, to nature formed objects such as bird skulls and sea shells. She channels this curiosity into everyday rituals, incorporating organic forms that resemble tree barks, the human body, and even reflecting shapes of the human body. Through her sculptural and decorative works, Doner re-fashions everyday objects, and re-conceptualises our ceremonial aspects of enjoying the daily life.

In her project, Goddess Minaudière, we see Doner reinterpret the rituals surrounding a minaudière. This is commonly known to be a decorative small box-clutch normally decorated with embellishments, and they are often used for a special evening event. Doner deconstructs our understanding of the minaudière and erases its traditional box form. Goddess Minaudière is made devoid of any such decorative gemstone, and humanises its form, strongly evoking themes of femininity sculpted through the body contours of the goddess of love, Venus. This inversion of shape and decorative design accentuates our focus on the form of the clutch, now a subtle, yet elegant piece of art that becomes an extension of the body.

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