I spent 2 happy years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa, a tiny island nation in the South Pacific. There I hand-raised and released 2 orphaned baby flying foxes (giant fruit bats), and became a fan and champion of bats as a result. Sadly, flying foxes have been hunted almost to extinction throughout the South Pacific.
Bats, like art, are often considered useless and expendable. Though we finally understand that the survival of South Pacific island forests depend heavily on the fruit bats, we are still trying to get a similar grip on the value of art. The bats enlivening my jewelry represent the important work done by both bats and art. The hidden bats, known only to the wearers, also applaud and encourage the secret joys of self-adornment.