Beth Droppleman Art

Oyster Armour

Scale armor is one of the oldest technologies, dating as far back as 1400 BC. No known armor for females has been found. But surely female warriors have existed since the beginning of time? This piece reimagines scale armor, forged to fit a woman and created differently. Instead of leather or metal, this armor uses castaway oyster shells. What do these shapes bring to mind? Although weathered and worn, the shells are as sturdy as concrete. Each one’s unique beauty derives from the process that gives it strength. Iridescence is secreted when a threat enters the shell. Adversity grows a shiny, smooth surface capable of sheltering life and occasionally, a pearl. The oyster stands as firmly as those who identify as women, in the silt of the middle ground of tidal creeks, between earth and ocean, uncontemplated, even by those who decide its fate. The middle ground’s sands are constantly shifting, presenting hard questions without easy answers. What shall we do?

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