the jewellery update
Contemporary Jewellery blog
Smitten collective has recently been formed by three young jewellery designers; Jill Lenaerts, Juan Harnie (yours truly) and Billie Van Nieuwenhuyzen. We studied Object and Jewellery Design together at the PXL university in Hasselt, Belgium where we attained our Masters. Now, a few years later, we are combining our experiences and interests to create this collective. Our purpose is to show contemporary jewellery to people who often don't even know this kind of jewellery exists.
Our first exhibition is part of a pop-up project in Antwerp called 'Gitschotel Popt'. Here, we got the opportunity to turn a big, deserted space into an exhibition room for two months. Next to showing our own work, we also invited eleven Belgian artists to participate in this exhibition; nine jewellery designers, a collage artist (Trut) and an architect who makes prints and jewellery (Caro Deheeger).
Next to this exhibition, we will also organize a couple of workshops at the same location.
Participating artists: Jill Lenaerts, Juan Harnie, Billie Van Nieuwenhuyzen, Nelly Van Oost, Trut, Karen Vanmol, Annabel Goris, Ilke Matthys, Zoë Detrez, Diederick Van Hovell, Ann Cox, Caro Deheeger, Lore Langendries, Noana Giambra.
At the end of October, the exhibition will be renewed and a couple of new designers will join the exhibition for its final month.
Every Thu, Fri & Sat, 11-18h
From 23rd September until 25th November 2017
Also open on Sunday 5th November!
Gitschotellei 82, Antwerp, Belgium
Currently, Nora Rorchel and Helen Friesacher are presenting work at Gallery Beyond in Antwerp, Belgium. Already knowing Nora Rochel's work but never having seen a lot of her work in one exhibition, made me very exited to visit this expo! Helen Friesacher was a new designer to me, but i'm very happy to have seen her work! Showing their work next to each other created a big contrast because they have very different styles which makes this expo super interesting!
floral >< geometric - detailed >< abstract - texture >< smooth surfaces
This tension, the technical skills and their concepts behind the pieces really make this expo worth a visit! A great start of the new season at Gallery Beyond!
This gallery is a great platform for contemporary jewellery in Belgium. They show, next to their exhibitions, a great variety of designers from all over the world in their permanent collection.
Until 14th October 2017
Sint Jorispoort, 27
2000 Antwerp, Belgium
On the 19th of August I visited the annual graduate show at Marzee. This year they showed work of 107 students from around the world. As always this exhibition is very impressing to visit, only for the amount of pieces. But also because these graduates are the next generation of jewellery designers.
Every year they give away the Marzee Graduate Prize to some of the designers. This kind of award gives some recently graduates a first opportunity to present their work in a gallery hereby creating a great start for these new designers careers. Therefor this kind of exhibition is a great initiative by Marzee!
This years winners are:
Shahrzad Motallebi (Koninklijke Academie, Antwerp, Belgium)
Sarah Schuschkleb ( Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, Germany)
Mia Copicova (Hochschule Trier, Ida- Oberstein, Germany)
Jing Yang (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, Germany)
Manami Aoki (Hiko Mizuno College og Jewelry, Tokio, Japan)
Jihyun Kim (Kookmin University, Seoul, South-Korea)
Congratulations to all of them!!
One of my favorite graduation projects pieces where those made by Jussi Järvinen from the Saimaa University of Aplied Sciences, Imatra, Finland. In his collection 'Horny', he did research about masculinity and jewellery. I love the idea of using Horns as a symbol for masculinity. Male animals are the ones with horns and are most of the time 'dressed' with colorful feathers or manes for example. But with humans there is often a stereotypical image with men wearing jewellery.
I think people (especially designers), should wear more jewellery. This is why I like the idea of breaking this barrier.
You can still visit the exhibition until the 15th of Oktober 2017. When there, it is also very spectacular to see the permanent collection of the gallery and look in al the shelves! Can't wait for next years graduation expo!
Lage Markt 3
6511 VK Nijmegen
Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/199592037236973/
Currently, Kazuko Nishibayashi is showing an overview of 20 years of jewellery design in her solo expo at Multiple in Hasselt, Belgium.
Even though some of the designs date from 20 years ago, all the presented pieces are timeless. They could have been designed yesterday or could be designed in the year 2020. Straightforward designs with a lot of thought behind them and a hight level of technical skill. Most of her pieces are folded out of one piece of precious metal. The pieces differ in shape and finish, but I found them all to be quite beautifully minimalistic seeing them up close.
''For me, empty spaces are as important as physical matter''
You can (and should!) visit the expo until 16th of September 2017 at Multiple in Hasselt, Belgium.
Facebook Multiple: www.facebook.com/juwelen.multiple/
Multiple will be present at the Art Nocturne in Knokke, Belgium until the 15th of August 2017. Here, they will also present work of their own design under their own name; Pauwels-Spaenjers.
Facebook Art Nocturne Knokke: www.facebook.com/artnocturneknocke/
Alliages is a contemporary jewellery gallery in Lille, France. Juan Riusech started the gallery in 2009 to show contemporary jewellery and educate people about this art form. He wants to show the work of beginning as well as established artists.
Each year he organizes an open call to select the group of artists who will be part of the permanent collection for a year.
This year's artists are:
Alix Manon, Ana Garcia Moya, Annie Huang, Aurelia Yeomans, Beate Pfefferkorn, Charlotta Lindvall, Claudia Steiner, Hakan Aktug, Isabelle Busnel, Izabella Petrut, Jason Thomson, Juan Harnie, Juan Riusech, Katja Toporski, Kristin Beeler, Ksenia Vokhmentseva, Lital Mendel, Mabel Pena, Mar Sánchez, Margarita Alonso, Margo Nelissen, Marita Sario, Masako Hamaguchi, Michelle Kraemer, Minna Karhu, Natasha Morris, Nicole Schuster, Noelia Macchi, Sébastien Carré, Sinéad Cooke, Suvi Tupola, Teresa Faris, Veronika Fabian, Viktoria Münzker, Viktoria von Malottki & Yiota Vogli
For the past two years, Juan also organized the Legacy Award; an annual award where the selected pieces are presented at Joya Barcelona. The artists can win several awards: the Alliages choice award, the Jury award and the Public award. The Public award winner is chosen by the visitors of Joya who can vote for their favorite piece.
I'm glad to be part of the Alliages permanent collection for the second time this year. I think an organization like this is very helpful for starting designers. For me it was one of the first exhibitions I was part of. My work was presented next to other starting designers as well as more established designers. Thanks to Alliages, some of my pieces where shown in France and also in Spain. If you get the chance to visit the gallery in Lille or see the collection at a different location, please do! You won't regret it.
Last weekend the Bachelors of graphic design, visual arts and jewellery design of St-Lucas Antwerp had their graduation expo. I was invited by Laura Braspenning, head of the jewellery department, and in addition to showing me around the exhibition, she gave me a small tour of the facilities. Thank you for the warm welcome!
There where two jewellery designers who graduated; Cleo Van Woensel and Yosra Kadri. Next to their projects you could see a project by the first and second year jewellery design students. They had several assignments around the 'chain' and it was very interesting to see all the different results with the same starting point. I was immediately drawn to a few pieces, afterwards they turned out to be made by the same student: Djara Van Hove. Especially the variety of and differences between her pieces within the same theme was very commendable.
Cleo Van Woensel did not participate in these assignments around the chain but still was drawn to this material. She started from the chain as a stereotypical shape in the jewellery world and wanted to catalogue different types of chains by beginning with a 3D object and going to 2D drawings. She presented different piles of paper, each with drawings (made with the 'frottage' technique) and each pile represented a different type of chain.
I found it very fascinating that all the graduating expo's I visited this year were so different. Each school presents its own take on jewellery. This different approach was very clear in this expo. The students from St-Lucas don't necessarily graduate with a tangible piece of jewellery, but they often look at the context of jewellery. A different way of looking at jewellery than I was used to, but nevertheless extremely fascinating.
I am very curious to see what these students will show us in the upcoming years!
'Around and about' is the current exhibition by Gésine Hackenberg at Gallery Pont & Plas in Gent, Belgium.
When I visited the opening, I was very surprised by al the pieces. I really loved her new collection and this made it one of the best expo's I've seen in quite a while!
The collection existed out of necklaces and brooches. The pieces had a simple design with put all the attention on the technique; the turning of the ceramics. By showing the process of shaping the material with her hands, she created very delicate and personal pieces. She didn't fight the material, but used the properties of the material. She let the material decide how big she can go and how thin she can stretch the material. This way she created some very beautiful details!
She used just a little bit of colour but mostly restricted herself to black and white (and you know I love black jewellery!!) and combined the ceramics with black silver and rope without overshadowing the designs of the pieces themselves.
A must see!
Gallery Pont & Plas
Hooiaard 6 - Gent, Belgium
On the 22nd of June I went to Antwerp to visit the graduation show of the Master students in jewellery design at the Royal Academy Of Arts. This year the graduating students where: Yijun Liu (CN), Shahrzad Motallebi (IR) and Dabin Lee (KR).
Yijun Liu used for her collection 'Ori-Ti' different folding techniques with titanium to create very light jewellery that seem simple by design, but are in fact very intricate.
Shahrzad Motallebi took inspiration from Iranian architecture. She created her own patterns in 3D drawing software and by connecting these patterns she could create a variety of jewellery for the 'A Fraction Of Abundance' collection. All her pieces are very light and flexible by the way they are connected.
I really loved the work by Dabin Lee named 'Down The Rabbit Hole'. Her work is about animal testing in the cosmetic industry. She used the rabbit as a symbol for the abuse these animals have to endure to create products for our beauty. She used tufting (type of textile weaving) as her technique to create the pieces but in stead of using a typical material like wool she used metal wire in a lot of different colours. The beautiful and almost happy colours create a big contrast with the fact that they represent the injuries the animals get from all the testing.
You can visit this expo at Salima Thakker in Antwerp until 27th of june.
Kloosterstraat 2, Antwerp, Belgium
Facebook Royal Academy: www.facebook.com
On the 28th of June a big Master expo (Antwerp Masters 2017) will start in Antwerp with al the work of the graduating students from all the different master educations including the work of these three students.
Rodestraat 12, Antwerp, Belgium
On Friday 23rd of June I visited the graduation show of all the masters from different art educations from Hasselt and Genk, Belgium. The three jewellery students from the PXL-MAD University are Jonas Neo Fabri, Jasmijn Coenen and Kristy Bujanic.
Jonas Neo Fabri created an installation where he questions the value of making. He used features of cheap products to create his project 'Saint Quatorze Parody'.
Jasmijn Coenen (who's collection I explained in the previous post) created her own dreamworld 'Iridescent Elysium': a colourful world with a bit of (good) kitch, inspired on the romanticism of the 18th Century with a modern twist.
Kisrty Bujanic used her family background as her inspiration. Her family is originally from Croatia and she used her memories from that time in her work. She used the bathroom as a starting point because it's a very important space in someones house and provides in the needs of the whole family.
Every year the graduating students can win a few awards and I'm happy to tell you that Kristy Bujanic won the C-Mine Award Genk 2017! Congratulations Kristy!!
This graduation expo ended on the 25th of June, but... The jewellery students will have their own annual graduation show starting next weekend at:
Maastrichterstraat 64-66, Hasselt, Belgium
Date and time: TBC
Some time ago, I visited Jasmijn Coenen, a Master student at the PXL-MAD University of Hasselt, Belgium. I got to see her Master project and got a sneak peek of what she was doing.
Her collection is called 'Iridescent Elysium'; a series of pieces inspired on the romanticism of the 18th Century with a modern twist. She describes the collection as 'a mythical gateway leading to my ideal world, my utopia, my elysium'. The pieces I could see where really colorful, with a lot of gems and different textures. Each piece is a little world on its own, that will gradually reveal details you didn't see the first time around. A real treat for the eye! There's is a certain level of 'kitsch' present in her work, which I must admit I really love! Combining actual gemstones with plastic ones and growing her own bismuth stones to create the pieces really accentuates her personal point of view on contemporary (colourful) jewellery.
I won't be showing pictures of the complete pieces, just some details to catch your interest. She will present her new collection at EXIT 2017; the graduate show of the PXL-MAD University. Here, graduating Master students of all different art departments will show their work.
Opening 23 June
24-25 June 2017, 10-18h
C-Mine, Genk, Belgium
'Expo' is the graduation show with work by the jewellery and graphic design students of the PXL-MAD University of Hasselt, Belgium. As this is a blog about jewellery and the two departments showed their works separately, I will restrict this post to the work by the jewellery students.
The first impression when I walked in was that they used a very colourful installation. Each student showed his or her collection on small tables in different shades of the same colour. They really made the most of the provided space and created a dynamic composition.
I have to say that the jewellery did not impress me as much as I would have liked. A lot of the work really needed an explanation for the visitors to understand it, something I don't care for. I prefer it when a piece demands your attention in a visual way and the concept makes you like the work even more. Nevertheless, they used a lot of different and interesting techniques like laser cutting, glass blowing, knitting... which created an interesting combination of very different pieces.
For me, the work of Eva Schrooten and Hester Daems stood out. Eva worked around inlay; not only as a decorative technique, but also as a way to connect different parts of a piece. Sometimes she used rubber parts to create flexible connections. Hester used bones and the way they move as an inspiration. She used the shape of bones in combination with artificial materials to create a contrast that reminds you of protheses.
All the participating jewellery students:
Eva Schrooten, Hester Daems, Annabel Goris, Selien Lips, Gertjan Vandezande, Mirthe Van Hove, Camille El-Achkar.
Until 28 June
PXL-MAD, Elfde-Liniestraat, Building C
3500 Hasselt, Belgium