There is something of an alchemist’s magic in Pat Flynn. Like those artful wizards of long ago, he changes common materials into objects of value and delight. Rusty nails, chips of slate, slivers of ivory snatched from discarded piano keys – all transform under Flynn’s skillful hand, emerging as delicate pins and brooches. Embracing “all those things that mean function,” the artist creates palm size works that become wearable sculptural drawings. Seemingly simple, the pieces harbor an intensity and detail that entice the viewer to linger over them, yet never overpower the wearer. They have earned Flynn a growing reputation as a creative innovator in the field, evidenced in his numerous workshops and exhibitions. In its miniature elegance, Flynn’s work redefines our notions of richness.
While many of the pieces feature elements of silver and gold, it is the incorporation of common materials, which expands their meanings. Ignoring monetary value and tradition, Flynn chooses substances for their contributions of color and texture. Pewter and slate lend a rich grayness; rusty nails and barbed wire reveal a character and history of their own. Drawing inspiration from his rural Pennsylvania upbringing, Flynn captures personal memories of farm life and the out-of-doors in his work. “Many of my works spring from images and feelings from my childhood on the farm,” Flynn comments, “Daily life with its patterns and rhythms, had a good discipline there. Many of the materials, colors, and textures I work with come from memories of those daily walks – both good and bad.”