Attaining Homeostasis

Molly Epstein

The objects in my life have a language. They speak to me like a mirror speaks, silently reflecting. I am drawn to the relationships we form with objects and to how jewelry, in particular, acts as a means of communication. Body adornment has a particularly privileged language. Objects worn are badges, markers of status, or indicators of state. They are thoughtfully selected to communicate pieces of our personality, taste, or accomplishments. Jewelry identifies the individual who wears it and connects us to each other in many significant ways.

Historically, people adorned their bodies and surrounded their homes with objects thought to protect them from external forces such as evil spirits and disease. Although we now know that pathogens as well as genetic abnormalities cause illness, we often still put our faith into the external (object) to gain insight and a sense of security and comfort.

Elements of these personal and cultural histories are present in the work that I create. Concurrent with the making of the object, I think of the making of the moment. Unless you have private time with an object, its ability to speak is hindered and the possibility for self-reflection is unlikely. In my sculptural work, direct and tactile feedback enhances that possibility in a modern setting. Through the use of electronic sensors, such as heart rate monitors and proximity sensors, the momentary experience that a person has with my work is intensified.

The primary concern of my artwork is the point at which the relationship to the object enhances awareness of one's own existence and connects the emotional to the physical being. There is undoubtedly a connection between the two. Visceral experiences intensify our awareness and can open "bound" emotions that impact the body. This exchange with the object allows the inanimate to become a catalyst for self-awareness.


Molly Epstein received her MFA from the University of Washington Metals Department in 2008. By striving to make connections between emotional and physical homeostasis, she explores the area where art and medical science collide. During her time at UW, she actively associated herself with engineers and doctors in an ongoing quest to understand what an artist may contribute to medical science. She has contributed to narrowing the gap between the disciplines by collaborating with Doctor Richard Hopper from Seattle Children's Hospital on the Patent Pending SAM Device and other surgical instruments. She was also a research assistant for Dr. Murray Maitland from Rehabilitation Medicine at UW and helped bring to life a modified prosthetic hand device. Molly's interest in body adornment and how adornment affects the psyche makes these collaborations an important part of her research and creative experiments. Molly received her BFA in Metals from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She then spent time in the New York City jewelry industry and taught at Fredricka Kulicke's Classical Jewelry School in Parsippany, New Jersey. Molly moved to Seattle, Washington in 2006 and currently resides and maintains a studio there.