Sharon CHURCH, Shimmer Enlarge 1 /1


Richland, Washington, United States of America born 1948

Shimmer 2003 Description: brooch
Place made: Pennsylvania, United States of America
Materials & Technique: jewellery, brooches, carved boxwood, lemonwood, diamonds, silver, buttermilk paint and lacquer

Dimensions: approx. 14.5 h x 5.0 w x 3.7 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2006
Accession No: NGA 2006.14
Image rights: Photographed by Jalk Ramsdale

More detail

When you go out into your garden after rain you might see a slippery slug slithering slowly along the path. The slug’s skin shimmers in the light. This slug is made of wood. Can you see how the artist has helped her slug to sparkle?

The plant forms on the slug’s back are the aloe plant. The aloe plant is plump and squishy, just like the slug. The artist has created this beautiful brooch which combines these two organisms from her garden.

Activity: You might like to create your own sparkling slug or another organism from your garden using clay and sparkly buttons or sequins.  

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

This work is to be worn pinned above the heart as both a lure and an animate curiosity. The tenderness implicit in this work has come from Church’s focus on her domestic environment and garden. There, she has observed the quiet, moist movement of slugs, an unusual source of inspiration for her sensuous and organic jewellery forms. This organism has the potential to sting and irritate the skin, oozing protective moisture when touched or pierced. Church carves her fanciful bestiaries from wood, studding them with old European cut diamonds that sparkle against the buttermilk paint to create a wistful reminder of nature at its most vulnerable.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2016
Author: Dr Robert Bell AM - Senior Curator Decorative Arts and Design