Alveoli (Memento Mori)

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After the loss of his mother to cancer, Toronto-based jewelry designer Paul McClure began work on a series titled Memento Mori. Latin for “remember, you must die”, Memento Mori has been inscribed on mourning jewellery throughout history. Alveoli is one of the more emotionally rending pieces in the series. Resembling the bronchial branches of the lungs, Alveoli contains within its black-oxidized surface two pearls from a necklace left to McClure by his mother. Over time the black oxide fades, revealing a polished silver surface and resolving the contrast between the luminescent pearl and murky blackness – a poignant parallel to mourning. The process takes approximately two years, the same amount of time the Victorians would take to mourn the death of a loved one.

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