Harriete Estel Berman
Artist • Metalsmith • Advocate
"For nearly three decades, Harriete Estel Berman has made it her sacred mission to create work that addresses cultural issues and political hot buttons." *
Harriete's artwork turns ordinary materials from the waste stream of our society and recycles it into something extraordinary.
"Using every last scrap as a source of energy and inspiration she up-cycles her materials in uber-crafted, intens-ellectual objects of art and social commentary that are the ultimate expressions of sustainability."*
Berman's jewelry examines value and identity in our consumer society. Grass/gras' is a nine-foot square lawn about the unsustainable green lawn. Measuring Compliance and Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin critiques our educational system built on standardized testing. A new Judaica series is about the 10 Modern Plaques.
The use of post-consumer tin cans contributes important content to my work. Bar codes and brand names recycle our exposure to advertising, marketing, and possession as identification. The materials may not be as precious as gold or silver, but in many ways reveal more accurately the values of our society.
Contemporary Judaica constructed from post consumer recycled tin cans, spice tins, and vintage steel dollhouses based on the concept of 'tikkun olam', Hebrew for repair the world. The reuse of materials from the waste stream is a manifestation of our contemporary culture and a reflection of our past.
Since 1988, I have decided to use recycled materials diverted from their destiny as trash. Sculpture social commentary includes women's roles in society, identity in our consumer society, environmental issues, a critique of our current educational system, gun violence, consumer debt and our unstable economy.