Ovals predominate in this body of work, with nine of the paintings offered as variations on the locket. While adornment for the body, historically this item of jewellery has also functioned as a tiny wearable vessel, its contents ranging from medicine to poison. Most commonly though, it bore images or artifacts associated with a loved one.
Whether over the heart or at the base of the neck or at the wrist, the keepsake locket tends to be worn at points on the body where the wearer’s pulse can be felt. Because of this, Maureen Paxton describes the locket as a form of life support, a memory bridge, a circuit, a conduit. Is breathes life into Was. Through the keepsake (keepsafe), much is cycled. That is, time, ourselves, each other.
Maureen Paxton teaches in the Animation program at Sheridan College. She also writes. A past member of the Tarragon Theatre’s Playwrights Unit, she is currently at work on a novel, funded by a Works-in-Progress Grant from the Ontario Arts Council.