• Feature

These 5 Jewellery Pieces Will Inspire Your Look for Pride this Year

Jun 18, 2024
by IAQ
Happy Pride Month! Whether you are a member of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community or want to show your support as an ally, accessories like these are a great way to break the ice and chat with folks during your local Pride parade or any day of the year! Here are five Pride-inspired beaded works by circumpolar Indigenous artists—from pronoun-affirming earrings to rainbows incorporated in various ways in their designs.
Eva Mae - R2BEAD2 Rainbow beam (2023) 11/0 Japanese transparent seed beads 22.9 cm © THE ARTIST

Rainbow beam (2023)

These stunning fringe earrings embrace the iconography of the rainbow—a hallmark of Pride—with a glittering design. Entitled Rainbow beam by Eva Mae - R2BEAD2, an artist from Puvirnituq, Nunavik, QC, who is currently based in Montreal, QC, these earrings are made with more than 20 centimetres of beads that transition seamlessly in an ombré effect of pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and indigo. Bold in both colour and length, earrings like these are sure to make a statement whether you are showing your support during a Pride parade or adding a bit of flair to your outfit of the day.

5Works-PrideJewellery-CKingTaalrumiq-SealHeartRainbowFringeEarrings Taalrumiq/Christina King Seal Heart Rainbow Fringe Earrings (2022) Sealskin, arctic fox fur, metallic lambskin leather, glass seed beads, gemstones and sterling silver hooks © THE ARTIST

Seal Heart Rainbow Fringe Earrings (2022)

Taalrumiq/Christina King’s Seal Heart Rainbow Fringe Earrings exquisitely demonstrate how colour, texture and various media can work together to make wearable magic. The heart-shaped sealskin is meticulously edged with glass seed beads and gemstones, giving the top of the earrings a glittery flair. Below, tufts of arctic fox fur dangle, resembling the fluffy cumulus clouds one might find alongside a rainbow. A jubilant rainbow fringe made from bands of metallic lambskin leather fall from the clouds to complete the effect. Whether worn under the sun or amongst the strobe lights, earrings like these will dazzle all onlookers!

Golga Oscar Spotted sealskin Pride Earrings (2021) Sealskin and beads 12.7 x 3.8 cm © THE ARTIST
Spotted sealskin Pride Earrings (2021)
Yup’ik artist Golga Oscar’s Spotted sealskin Pride Earrings are a beautiful study in form and contrast. For this pair, Oscar uses a lighter shade of spotted sealskin that has been cut into a double triangle shape and skilfully edged with beads to mirror the colours of rainbow flags. This design also details the point where the hooks attach, using brick stitch, as well as the gorgeous fringe, which dangles at the bottom of the earrings. The contrast between the soft textured light grey sealskin and the hard, vibrant rainbow beads is palpable, even through a photograph. With earrings like these, you can wear your seal and rock your pride simultaneously!

Levi Mequ Tribute to Gilbert Baker (2021) Glass seed beads with gold findings © THE ARTIST
Tribute to Gilbert Baker (2021)

This beaded necklace by UK-based Kalaaleq artist Levi Mequ is both elegant and entrancing, while also paying homage to 2SLGBTQQIA+ history. The piece is titled Tribute to Gilbert Baker, in honour of the late Gilbert Baker, a gay American political activist who designed the iconic rainbow flag in 1978[1]. While the flag originally sported eight colours, numerous variations have been developed over the years, including the 2017 version Mequ depicts here, which includes a ninth lavender band that symbolizes diversity in the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community[2]. From a distance the style of beading in this necklace resembles crochet stitching, adding an optical-illusion-like element to the already-mesmerizing rainbow starburst design.

Yurak Untitled (They/Them Jelly Earrings) (2022) Delica beads, seed beads, crystals and seal leather © THE ARTIST
Untitled (They/Them Jelly Earrings) (2022)

These beaded earrings by Iqaluit, NU-based artist Yurak incorporate a fun aquatic theme while also honouring they/them pronouns in style. Despite looking like the jellyfish are floating whimsically in water, these earrings have surprising weight—not unlike the concept they represent. Pronouns are an important marker of one’s identity, and we love to see how folks can present theirs creatively. These jellyfish were a feat of beading; the bodies were made using various blue, green and turquoise delica beads, and the dangling tentacles are a combination of seed beads and crystals of a similar colour scheme.

[1] Patrick Carney, “Our Enduring LGBTQ Symbols,” San Francisco Bay Times, March 9, 2017, 13, Issu Inc., issuu.com/sfbt/docs/03.09.17_final.small.
[2] Ibid.

Suggested Reads

Related Artists