This is a blog was originally created as a forum for a group of Latin American and European artists and jewellery-makers who, for a period of six months, exchanged thoughts, experiences, ideas, and images on three main topics: jewellery, global mobility and identity. And for viewers from all over the world to witness how an exhibition developed from scratch.
To learn more on this project, read the introductory essay Take a Walk on the Gray Area. To see the interaction between the various couples, click on the couple’s names at the right column of the blog.
The processes and results of the blog were as varied as the artists themselves and the way their own lives have evolved in the past six months. Some of the collaborations were rich and successful. Some others not so much. Some questions that gave birth to this project were answered to a more or lesser degree. But it has all resulted in an extraordinary collection of ornaments that undoubtedly talks about the will and desire to communicate, to learn from each other and to make of contemporary jewellery a more culturally diverse scenario.
This project has been plagued with all the eventualities of life: encounters, death, loss, births, communication, miscommunication, new migrations, change of paths, construction, destruction, abandonment and among this, an exceptional exhibition evolved. Walking the Gray Area premiered at Galeria Emilia Cohen in Mexico City in April 2010, featuring over 60 jewellery pieces, produced by 40 artists from an uncertain total number of involved countries.
The exhibition has come to an end. But not the contact between artists from utterly divergent backgrounds and cultural systems or the growing interest of a recurring audience of over 12 thousand visitors about contemporary jewellery and its great ability to communicate, provoke, critique, record, transmit, and generate meanings, qualities, and ideas.
Walking the Gray Area remains now as a place where artists, designers and an audience interested in learning about this fascinating discipline can meet, discuss and share with others those ideas, images and projects that motivate and inspire them. A place to celebrates jewellery and cultural diversity.
Enjoy this blog and make it grow!
FaceBack consists of an intensive three-day workshop dictated by two teachers, Mexican visual and jewellery artist Jorge Manilla and Estonian fashion and jewellery designer Tanel Veenre and is aimed at jewellery, fashion or industrial designers, visual artists, photographers and architects who either work professionally or are in the last year of their studies and who desire to work on conceptual assignments using jewellery as a media.
The workshop will be based on the study, conceptualization and execution of a jewel which considers the facade and backside as equally relevant players on the narrative of the piece. The object will be the result of careful analysis and discussion on topics such as Public and Private, Show-off and Hide, Tradition and Invention. FaceBack seeks to provide the participants with a more liberal approach to jewellery making and with an understanding of its relation with other creative disciplines. The workshop focuses strongly on the development of conceptual thinking and the encouragement of experimentation, combining this with the techinical abilities of the participants.
At the end of the workshop the participants will have created a piece of conceptual jewellery. They will have gained a wider understanding of conceptual contemporary jewellery and sharpened their ability to evaluate and critique their own work.
FaceBack is the third workshop in the first series of nine of the program Travelling Workshop, an initiative of Otro Diseño, which offers jewelers, designers and visual artists who live in Latin America the opportunity to address the global notion of contemporary jewellery by the exploration of conceptual and critical thinking and the application of materials, techniques and technology that respond to that line of thought.
Travelling Workshop acts as an open workshop made accessible to comers from various disciplines, where contemporary jewellery is studied and created collaboratively. The program aims to provide jewelers, artists and designers in this cultural region with the tools to nurture their own creative process, define their individual position as an artist and further develop the quality of their work. At the same time, the program looks to to strengthen the respective national scenes of the participants and to encourage them to become active participants in the international arena of contemporary jewellery. Travelling Workshop is intended to foster creativity and encourage experimentation in an atmosphere of cultural exchange, conversation, engagement, and freedom of expression.
When: from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th August, 2013
Where: Nueve25 Plata Studio, Querétaro No 97, Col. Roma, Mexico City
The Cuban artist Carlos Martiel will present Hijo Pródigo (Prodigal Son) at the Gallery Teatro Luz in Guatemala City, from February 28th to March 12th.
Hijo Pródigo is a retrospective of the artists, which explores the codes of language through the body. Carlos Martiel’s work uses his body as a point of departure and end to his art. He often works with jewellery and body ornaments, taking their relation with his own body to physical and psychological extremes. In this way, the artist reflects on the complex social, cultural and political matters of contemporary Latin America. His work is always registered; Hijo Pródigo includes photographs and videos of Martiel’s work between 2010 and 1012.
Hijo Pródigo will be on show until March 28th 2013
at Galería Teatro LUX
Sexta Avenida y 11 Calle Zona 1
TE MATO POR QUE TE AMO
As many of the satellite events that surround Schmuck, Te Mato por que Te Amo (I Kill you Because I Love you) promises to be an interesting one.
Two separate rooms in a private home will host two diametrically different exhibitions. Two different artists, two different practices, and two different themes. Themes which, in life occasionally intertwine; often between the walls of private homes.
In one room, Mexican artist Jorge Manilla explores Contemporary Savagery: raw emotions such as fear, jealousy, cowardice, pain, rancor and bad blood, all concepts buried within the motives for violence and the ways these manifest in our contemporary world. He aims to find the exact point in which a person becomes the victim and another one the victimizer. His research ends in the body; in unappealing ornaments, troubled, melted objects that create frightening and confusing images that create an inner cataclysmic reaction in the viewer and the wearer. At the end, those objects transcend their materiality to become dissected feelings, broken memories and empty vessels that reveal the fragility of our situation as human beings in a hostile environment.
In an opposite room -a bedroom- and spectrum, American artist Shari Pierce deals secretly, delicately, with the game Effeuiller la Marguerite or “He loves me, he loves me not”, in which one person seeks to determine whether the object of their affection returns that affection or not by plucking one petal off a flower (usually a daisy) for each phrase. The phrase this person tells aloud on picking off the last petal supposedly represents the truth between the object of their affection loving them or not. Pierce allegorically recreates the phrase and its meaning, over and over, using several languages, summery colors and perishable materials that speak about love, hope and loss, in the way these feelings often and inevitably collide.
Together but separate, these two artists share a continent, a passion for tackling complex matters and for a few days, a home. A coexistence that brave Schmuck visitors will certainly enjoy to witness.
Valeria Vallarta Siemelink
Te Mato por que te Amo will be on show from 06.03 to 09.03
at Atelier Shari Pierce
Walka Studio represents duality in all the sense of the word. Claudia Betancourt, intuitive, emotional and profoundly interested in local crafting traditions, and Nano Pulgar, shrewd, rational and highly experimental stand at opposite ends of the spectrum of the creative process. Together they execute a fluid dance which teases the boundaries between art and design. They have a clear notion of the local and a wide, but critical, view of the foreign. And they often engage in clever actions to create a larger and more inclusive audience, intervening public realm and partnering with amicable spaces not traditionally associated to the exhibition of artistic jewellery.
On this occasion, Walka Studio, Cafe Clara and Otro Diseño, bring a Chilean exhibition to Munich, to be one of the many relevant satellite events that surround Schmuck adding true cultural diversity to this international event.
Matadero is the latest collection of the Walka duo. It contains a very specific narrative about Chilean traditional crafting materials, the historical and cultural nexus of the southern cultures of the Pacific Basin and the evolving influence of the conquest of Chile, initiated by the Spaniards in 1541. This narrative, however, is represented in an international language, allowing jewellers and jewellery enthusiasts of all nationalities to understand how this jewellery from across the ocean functions within a mostly western context.
Matadero is a series of necklaces and pendants, jewel categories that step away from the often resorted to European brooch and allude to the prevailing ornament of the Pacific cultures. The series is the product of a long investigation about the symbolical and aesthetic characteristics of body ornamentation in the Pacific Basin until its evolution into contemporary jewellery; as well as the experimentation with new methods to work the cacho de buey or bull’s horn, a traditional material in Chilean craft that has been worked by Betancourt’s family for generations.
The relationship established between body and ornament in Matadero reveals how social custom and stigmas around the subject of death or murder of animals, affect our capacity to deem animal remains as acceptable materials, thus disregarding the origin of bodyornamentation and the sacred connotations associated with it in the cultures of the Pacific Islands (Polynesia) and Latin America.
Matadero uses both bull´s horns and hooves which had been part of a previous collection dedicated to the fashion industry, delicately tinted in a faint pink colour for that occasion. The fashionable neckpieces have been deconstructed, burnt and rebuilt as entirely new pieces that fascinate and repulse. The newly transformed pieces allude to one of the darkest periods in Chilean history: the 17 year long dictatorship that was common to many other Latin American countries and which is still a source of preoccupation and reflection for many artists from the continent.
The necklaces and pendants in this exhibition also allude to the particular geographical situation of Chile, a long, thin strip in Latin America which is wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range. Every piece in the series uses soft, comforting supports and laces made of Andean Alpacas. Surprisingly, the pieces are extremely easy and comfortable to wear, once the repulsion produced by the idea of wearing burnt bones has passed. They are soft, light and smoothing. They are made to be used, as that is how they complete their cycle. And they show Walka’s regal acquaintance with fashion and wearability.
Matadero becomes now a synonym for duality: the series blends cultures, materials, processes, meanings and historical periods in an unusual but profoundly skilful way. I am certain that this exhibition will promote an interesting dialogue and exchange among the participants of Schmuck.
Valeria Vallarta Siemelink
MATADERO will be on show from 06.03 to 12.03 2013
at Cafe Clara
Isabellastrasse 8 (just across the street of the Pinakothek der Moderne), Munchen
Burnt bullhorn and alpaca wool
Burnt bull hooves and alpaca wool
Cuerpo Quemado, 2013
Burnt bullhorn and alpaca wool
Fosa Común 8, 2013
Burnt bull hooves and alpaca wool
Last Thursday 21st of February, Brazilian artists Mirla Fernandes opened the exhibition Meu Corpo, Teu Corpo (My Body, Your Body) at the Hop Gallery in Tallinn and managed by María Valdma. The show was presented within the frame of the opening of the exhibition Think Twice: New Latin American Jewellery.
The exhibition, curated by Dr. Ana Paula de Campo is a retrospective of twelve years on Fernandes’ research on jewellery and its relation with the body.
Taking her own body as a mould and measure –instead of using the traditional tools of the jeweler- the biochemist and artist highlights the body of the other’s singularity through the retention of her presence in the works. This strategy makes explicit the unique character of the encounter, mediated by the jewel, between the artist and the wearer. Fernandes disrupts the traditional structures of occupation in the body and the use of jewellery through pieces that turn both viewer and wearer into active and interactive subjects, so becoming evident the collective essence of jewellery, and specially, its power to articulate new relations, new constructions and communications abilities.
The show was composed mainly by Fernandes’ production in latex, a Brazilian native material that was once considered more valuable than gold. The paint-like qualities of latex allows the artist a much more gestural approach, convening a subtly fierce expression and intimate qualities to the pieces. A video projected in the gallery’s main wall shows the radical and infinite possibilities in which the pieces can be worn by one or more persons at the same time.
At the center of the square gallery, there was a pile of dark clay cartouches that clearly retained the shape and digital prints of the artist’s hands and fingers. Visitors were allowed to take and keep one of these pieces. In exchange, the wearer offered the artist a photograph of her interaction with the piece.
This exhibition shows how the artist starts and finishes her pieces but that doesn’t end their possibilities. The Tallinn audience has now a chance to prolong the boundaries of Fernandes’ work.
The Estonian Academy of Arts, the Estonian Museum of Art and Design and Otro Diseño organize a lecture program within the frame of the exhibition Think Twice: New Latin American Jewellery, to take place on 22.02.2013 at 10:00 at the Estonian Academy of Art.
10:00 Welcoming words by Ketli Tiitsar
10:10 Introduction by Think Twice curator Valeria Vallarta Siemelink
10:20 Artistic Migration: Aesthetics of Lack of Authenticity Martha Hryc (Poland / Mexico)
10:45 A Never Ending Journey by Carolina Gimeno (Chile)
11:10 Latent Visions by Giselle Morales (Dominican Republic)
11:35 Coffee break
11:55 Ornata: jewellery research in Brazil by Mirla Fernandes (Brazil)
12:20 How About Mexico by Beate Eismann (Germany / Mexico)
12:45 A Side – B Side by Laura Alvarado (Colombia)
13:10 Panel discussion, moderated by Ketli Tiitsar cuartor at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
13:40 Finishing words
Estonian Academy of Art
Estonia pst 7 / Teatri Väljak 1
Room 245, (II floor)
Galería NUDO Arte Contempráneo in collaboration with Otro Diseño present the exhibition Arboresque by Jiro Kamata
from 22.02 to 08.03
at NUDO Arte Contemporáneo at Hotel Posada Carmina
Cuna de Allende No 7, Centro, San Miguel de Allende
Opening 22.02.2013 at 19:00 hrs
The Arboresque Series
In 2010 Jiro Kamata visited Mexico for the first time to exhibit Momentopia, a series he had been working in since 2007. The open, blue sky of Mexico captivated the visiting artist and introduced him to a sensorial experience that led him to explore Mexican color and to develop a profound visual relation with the country. This proved to be a great source of inspiration for Kamata, who understood local colour beyond the abstract theory. His gaze was particularly incisive on the street, where he took time to study both grandiose and vernacular architecture and connect it in a remarkable way why the people who produce and experience it. The hand-forged wrought iron detailing, so abundant in colonial towns, attracted Kamata’s attention. Arabesque, a form of decoration based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage and tendrils, originated within the Islamic art and became an important part of Spanish architecture which was later exported to Mexico. The irresistible combination of unexpected colour palettes and the capricious shapes of the iron arabesques led the Momentopia series to a surprisingly fresh and colorful path.
Momentopia represent moments captured by photographic cameras, using old camera lenses, minimal compositions and a rather monochromatic palette where faint and fleeting color is occasionally provided by the different coatings of each lens. The trip to Mexico led Kamata to an inexorable and organic development of Momentopia. Camera lenses are again the starting point of Arboresque. But, impeccably encased in oxidized silver profiles, the precise and constricted shapes of Momentopia, branch out in Arboresque, creating sinuous and mysterious patterns that remind of unfinished calligraphic strokes of a language we do not fully recognize.
An unusual, bolder use of color is immediately noticed in Arboresque, where most of them display bi-color combinations: an eroding green wall, revealing layers of deep purple beneath; a blue pickup truck, brimming with yellow marigold blossoms; a woman in a white dress, pink flowers in her hair, spinning to the rhythm of a festive orchestra; the deep blue sky of a Mexican evening, stained with the darkest rain clouds. By applying acrylic and acetone and using the Japanese ancient suminagashi technique to decorate paper, Kamata masterfully re-interprets Mexico’s coulorful palette.
Kamata has experienced Mexico in a profound, reflective and sensuous way. He faced an ancient, complex and fascinating country in the most visual and aesthetic way, unafraid of playing and experimenting with images, emotions and memories. While eating tacos, dinking tequila and dancing danzon, he analyzed the Mexican life and landscape with curious and humorous eyes. His findings, embodied in the new jewellery series, seem to say: ‘look, here is another way of portraying Mexican colour’. As a Mexican architect well acquainted with the colours of my country, I can only agree.
|Travelling Workshop No 2: A Piece of Reality, Contemporary Jewellery as a Memory
16.02 – 20.02.2013Taller Tierra y Plata, Mexico City
The Otro Diseño Foundation (y la sede local) invite(s) to the workshop ‘A Piece of Reality: Contemporary Jewellery as a Memory System’, dictated by the Japanese artist Jiro Kamata.
‘A Piece of Reality’ is the second workshop in the series ‘Travelling Workshop’, an initiative of Otro Diseño Mexico, Walka Studio Chile and NovaJoia Brazil, which aims to offer jewelers, designers and visual artists who live in Latin America the opportunity to address the global notion of contemporary jewellery by the exploration of conceptual and critical thinking and the application of materials, techniques and technology according as a response to that line of thought. The program seeks to offer jewelers of this cultural region the tools to define their individual position as an artist, strengthen their respective national scenes and participate actively in the international arena of contemporary jewellery.
Jewelry, through history, has functioned as a memento, capable of safeguarding through time events relevant to an individual or community. ‘A Piece or Reality’ addresses the role of contemporary jewellery as a memorial object and its appropriation of portable recording technology. During the workshop Jiro Kamata will use his iconic ‘Tesa Ring’ as a starting point to analyze the relationship between concepts, materials and techniques and encourage participants to explore the creative potential of jewelry as a powerful tool of social communication.
For more information visit: www.otro-diseno.com/tallerviajero/apieceofreality
Registration at: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5009236762?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_eventv2&utm_term=eventname_text
Other venues and dates in Latin America:
25.02.2013 – 01.03.2013
Santiago de Chile
21.03.2013 – 15.03.2013
San José, Costa Rica
26.08.2013 – 30.08.2013
About Jiro Kamata
Jiro Kamata was born in Hirosaki, Japan. He studied jewellery at the Yamanashi Institute in Kofu and became later a student of Otto Künzli at the Fine Arts Academy in Munchen, city where he lives and works since 2000.
Jiro Kamata is an assistant professor at the Fine Arts Academy in Munchen. His work is featured in exhibitions around the world and in private and public collections such as the V&A Museum in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam or the Hiko Mizuno Collection in Tokyo.
The Otro Diseño Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Martacarmela Sotelo as head of our Mexico chapter, effective September 1st 2012.
Martacarmela Sotelo, born and currently living in Mexico City, holds a degree in architecture by the Iberoamerican University in Mexico and and MAFA by the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, UK. An established jewellery maker, her work has been featured at the Museum of Arts and Design NY, the Marion Friedman Gallery in London and the Popular Art Museum of Buenos Aires, among others, and she has been honored with prices such as the Premio Quorum Mexico 2012. Ms. Sotelo is a strong advocate for the development of contemporary jewellery in Mexico and participates in lectures and round tables around the country.
With her new appointment as Head of the Otro Diseño in Mexico, Martacarmela Sotelo seeks to further the Foundation’s mission to foster awareness, understanding and appreciation of contemporary design from Latin America as well as to nurture design excellence through the encouragement of cultural exchange. Ms. Sotelo brings to the Otro Diseño Foundation a broad understanding of the field of contemporary jewellery, both regionally and internationally, as well as extensive experience in the organization of cultural and educational projects. In the coming years, she will be in charge of developing a training and exhibition’s program that aims to generate opportunities for Mexican jewelers and artists to explore the creative and communicative potential of jewellery and for a broader audience to become acquainted the contemporary jewelry practices of the country. Ms. Sotelo will also act as a link between Mexico and other Latin-American individuals and organizations.
Ms. Sotelo comments: “It is a great honor for me to have been appointed as head of Otro Diseño Mexico; ours is a country with a tremendous creative potential. A continuous and sustained exchange of knowledge and ideas is vital among jewellery makers from Mexico, Latin America and the rest of the world. I am proud to be in the midst of this important project and I am looking forward to strengthen the existing links in the field and to forge new ones”.
The Otro Diseño Foundation is pleased to announce its alliance with the organizations NovaJoia, from Brazil and Walka Studio, from Chile. This alliance has specifically been brought together to promote the broadening, development, understanding and appreciation of contemporary jewellery as a medium of cultural expression from and within Latin American and the Caribbean and to stimulate its engagement into international dialogue.
Our goal is to generate opportunities for jewelers and artists from Latin America to explore the creative and communicative potential of jewellery and for a broader audience to become acquainted with the contemporary jewelry practices of the continent.
This will be achieved through Made In Latinamerica, a three year pilot project that will focus in three areas:
THINK. The creation of Laboratorio de Ideas, a PanAmerican, multidisciplinary think thank which stimulates the vigorous and creative analysis and theorizing of contemporary jewellery. Through Laboratorio de Ideas we aim to assert the character of Latin American jewellery by seeking out ways to transform and alter existing notions about the region, while presenting competing ideas about what constitutes its particular sensibility and, at the same time, further develop its ability to communicate globally.
LEARN. The implementation of Taller Viajero, a comprehensive educational program based in a more liberal understanding of jewellery and consisting of a series of nine different workshops, each of which will travel to the different regions of Latin America. Taller Viajero aims will provide jewellery makers from Latin America a challenging environment that encourages unorthodox thinking and experimentation and enables them to assert a powerful personal language while developing a consistent and professionally executed body of work. The program is open to jewellery artists residing in Latin America interested in developing the concept of jewellery as a form of artistic expression and wishing to perform in a global environment.
DISSEMINATE. The development of an exhibition program which will produce at least three exhibitions, conceived with the highest standards of scholarship, display, and interaction with the public and which show the work of professional and emergent contemporary jewellery makers from Latin America. These exhibitions aim to create provide the regional audience the opportunity to become familiar with the concept of contemporary jewellery and to an international audience with the cultural framework to understand the jewellery practices from the continent.
Made in Latin America will be launched in September 2012 within the frame of the first workshop of the series: The Political Body, by American jewellery artist Shari Pierce.
From September 5th to October 7th, the work of Buenos Aires based jeweller Jorge Castañón will be on display at the Gallery Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco, California.
Castañón is a former marine biologist who studied sculpture and carpentry and trained for almost 10 years in various traditional silver and goldsmithing workshops. By developing impressive technical skills and combining them with a profound understanding of local materials and autochthonous crafting techniques, as well as a powerful and sophisticated aesthetic sensibility, Castañón produces highly expressive pieces that breake the boundaries of jewelry to take on sculptural characteristics. Inspired mostly by natural materials and shapes and concerned with environmental matters, Castañón searched for rare types of wood, preferably discarded or abandoned, weathered by use or nature. Often preserving vestiges of its past life—paint flecks, a rusty nail, or discoloration caused by fungi—the wood becomes a protagonist in Castañon’s pieces, while rich metals are humbled and used in service to the wood to provide structural support or add color. The work express a marked Argentinean identity through a universal language.
While working on pieces inspired by “Alice in Wonderland,” Castañón explored the emotional impact of endless holes, and hidden places away from the light. He discuses this experience in the ‘realm of doubt’ as the impetuous for his first wood pieces:
“I wanted to talk about abundance, but suddenly knew that I was actually talking about what is not there, the void, and I found myself again making bowls, hollows filled with nothing or almost nothing. Since then, I kept on looking for hidden places, old hiding places, crevices, containers of many things and of nothing at the same time, inhabited by silent presences. Now I invent them, construct them, give them voice. I rescue objects and materials that were on the way to oblivion and return to communicate a minimal story.
Jorge Castañón founded his well-known school “La Nave,” 20 years ago and was featured in the Munich Schmuck 2011 Exhibition.
|Workshop The Political Body
Critical Thinking in Contemporary JewelleryA workshop by Shari Pierce
01. 09. 2012 – 05.09.2011
|The Otro Diseño Foundation and Taller Serra invite to the workshop The Political Body, by visual and jewelley artist Shari Pierce. This workshop is the first of a series that Otro Diseño will carry out in Mexico in a two year period. The program, which will include periodical lectures and discussion panels, aims to offer Mexican jewellery makers, designers and visual artists the opportunity to explore a global notion of contemporary jewellery by addressing complex conceptual matters as well as technical and material innovation within the context of their own cultural background. The program seeks to offer Mexican jewellery artists the tools to strengthen scene of contemporary jewellery in their own country as well as to actively engage with the international arena.The Political Body workshop seeks to promote political, social and emotionally engaged creative expression within the art form of contemporary jewelry. This creative expression empowers the individual and the group, by creating a space in which you can engage in a dialogue with one another about the issues in which you have a personal stake in your society.
By exploring the possibility of communicating a message through the political body, students will gain a better understanding of contemporary jewelry and its potential for social, political and emotional artistic expression.
For additional information, please go to:
Shari Pierce was born in New Your and currently lives in Munich, Germany. She holds a degree in Fine Arts by the East Carolina University and earned a MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
She has been a guest professor at the Konstfack University College of Art, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, the Geneva University of Art and Design in Switzerland and the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, in the USA.
Sieraad Art Fair, Booth 65
November 3rd to 6th 2011
Broches para las Chicas is the third edition of an academic project by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Students of the 2nd and 3rd bachelor courses at the jewellery department were asked to design and produce ornaments for a specific person. Past editions of the project have seen Walter Van Beirendock, Marnic Smessaert, Anita Evenepoel and Marjan Unger portraying rings and necklaces produced by the Academy’s students.
This year the academy invited Surinam-born designer and jewellery artist Chequita Nahar and myself to commission the students to create a type of ornament that we both have found alluring and, at the same time, foreign to our habitual choice of jewellery: brooches. Brooches are one the oldest type of jewellery and they are among the most frequently produced ornaments by contemporary jewelers: their possibilities are almost endless and its prominent area of display makes the brooch a remarkable media for communication.
The students were challenged to produce brooches that would help us commissioners to become acquainted with the use of these ornaments and that could establish a relation with the geocultural area we come from, Latin America, and the place where we live now: Europe.
Designing for another person starts at the Academy as an exercise that students will have to master through their entire careers as professional jewellery makers. Their ideas, experience and talents are faced with the tastes, dislikes and demands of someone they come to know through a few working sessions. This results in a great opportunity for the students to acquire real-life experience and for the audience to be treated with the promise of surprising young talents.
I want to share this interview.
Thanks to Leda Daverio who held it in Buenos Aires.
El valor de la palabra
En esta entrevista Guigui Kohon habla, entre otras cosas, sobre “100/100 Basura d e Joyería” su nuevo trabajo en relación a la minería a cielo abierto, cuenta su experien cia en la cátedra de accesorios que comparte junto con Francisca Kweitel en la UBA, recuerda su paso por la Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Barcelona y opina sobre la actualidad de la joyería contemporánea argentina.
para seguir leyendo:
The Gray Area Symposium, which took place in April 2010 at Biblioteca de Mexico José Vasconcelos in Mexico City was an unparalleled opportunity for the Mexican audience to learn about the state of contemporary jewellery in the world and, at the same time, the Symposium served to stimulate cultural exchange between jewellery artists from Latin America, Europe and other corners of the world.
Organized by the Otro Diseño Foundation, Gray Area encouraged a rewarding exchange of ideas from the perspective of various disciplines, which converged in an open and much needed debate on the present and the future of jewellery as a medium for artistic expression and cultural exchange.
This proceedings book is a written testimony of the lectures presented during the encounter as well as a celebration to initiatives like Gray Area, which help to enrich and reassert the mission that all the involved public and private organizations realize realize in favor of cultural cooperation and exchange.
The book include essays by Liesbeth den Besten (NL), Jorge Manilla (Mexico), Cristina Filipe (Portugal), Damian Skinner (NZ), Valeria Siemelink (Mexico),Miguel Luciano (Puerto Rico), Monica Gaspar (Spain) and Mirla Fernandes (Brazil) among many others.
Gray Area Gris: contemporay jewellery and cultural diversity
Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes
Bilingual edition: English and Spanish
Full color, soft cover
Price: 28, 00 Euros
The book is available at museums and galleries in Latin America and Europe or can be ordered here:
For wholesale inquires please contact: email@example.com
Last Thrsday 26th of May the Belleve Arts Museum in Washington organized a fantastic reception for the opening of the exhibition Think Twice: New Latin American Jewellery. The reception was much fun and I spent a very good time with some of the exhibition’s artists: Lucia Abdenur, from Brazil; Maca Sotelo, Lorena Lazard and Alcides Fortes from Mexico; and Benjamin Lignel from France. The rest of you were much missed!
The BAM has made an extraordinary effort to present and promote the exhibitions at many levels: a magnificent display, a very interesting education program that includes visits to the exhibition, audio-tours and a touch-screen interactive presentation of the exhibition, as well as a very professional PR program that has granted us a first review in the Seattle times, the most important newspaper in the state. You can view the review here:
For BAM, the pedagogic scrpit was very important and they made a really good job translating the texts that I was able to write about your work and using the information that you gave me. There were many comments of the audience on how such an interesting and pleasurable the lecture of the exhibition was, which is a combination of contents of the exhibition (your work), the way in which the pieces are displayed and in which the written information is presented. So we feel that we have achieved one of the main goals of the exhibition: to transmit to the audience how do visual artists and jewellery makers from Latin America use nowadays ornaments to talk about the culture they live in.
My deep gratitude to the Bellevue Arts Museum and its staff. Working with them was professional, smooth and really pleasurable. To the audience that has welcomed the exhibition with much interest and warmth. And, of course, to all the Think Artists: they are the hearth of this exhibition.
Valeria Siemelink, Think Twice Curator
Last Tuesday October 12th (in a very symbolic Dia de la Raza) the exhibition Think Again: New Latin American Jewelry opened at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC with a record inaugural attendance of 700 guests. 46 of the 85 artists whose work was presented at the exhibition attended the opening, making it again a cheerful, fun and emotive event. The response of the audience in NYC demonstrates that the arena of contemporary jewellery is ready to really incorporate cultural diversity and the work on display shows the talent, originality and intensity that converge in the work of this talented group of artists from Latin America.
The Otro Diseno Foundation is extremely greatful to the Museum of Arts and Design, its director Holly Hotchner and its jewellery curator Ursula Neuman for the enthusiasm and effort to present Think Again by the first time in the USA. But, above all, we wish to thank all the artist for their trust in this project and the amazing talent that, we hope, will reach other latitudes.
Yesterday was the opening of 29º Bienal de São Paulo, an international art event that brings art works from all over the world to São Paulo and the second event that brings more tourists for the city in the year.
I’ve been there and I share some pics and videos I made with my phone…I believe some of you will remember Gray Area Symposium…I remembered a lot because of the work of Ana Gallardo, “Un lugar para vivir cuando seamos viejos”, who invited danzon mexican dancers Don Raul, Lucio and Conchita to come to São Paulo and give lessons during the Biennial!
So many interesting works in three floors of the pavillion. I spent more than two hours and still did not get a good view of it all. But anyway I thought of posting here something: two great works of cuban artists.
La Torre Del Ruido from Yael Vazquez – Bienal SP: a tower of tv set, in each one a rapper singing his/her own message, all being heard at the same time. In the following link, just one rapper :watch?v=u6Y-NEWk3Go&feature=related
Las Joyas de la Corona from Carlos Garaicoa, displayed over black cubes protected with glasses, a very jewellery like display, you can see miniatures of places from different parts of the world related to war/security/politics.
This year’s theme is politics. Seeing a piece like this cuban one reminds me of Art-Jewellery and how the choice itself of being an art-jeweller is very much politic.
If in Amsterdam Art Jewelry is taught at an Art School such as Gerrit Rietveld and in Munich it is also taught at the Kunst Akademie, in Brazil we have jewelry classes squeezed among fashion or design courses with a very commercial and industrial orientation.
Since 2007, I’ve been committed to expand the scene of art jewelry in Brazil through the NOVAJOIA project. As I said here before, one of the main concerns is related to education. The year 2010 has proved to be an important one, once we are getting closer to the art colleges.
The first step happened in August with the ‘Nova Joalheria’ (New Jewellery) inside the Core of Culture Department of Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) one of the best art colleges in São Paulo where I am teaching practical and theoretical classes.
The second one was given by Ana Paula de Campos, a brazilian jewelry artist, a teacher with more than 15 years of experience and a very active collaborator of NOVAJOIA.
After going to Gray Area Symposium to talk about education in Brazil, she has invited Cristina Filipe (that also coordinates the jewelry department at Ar.Co, Lisbon) to come to give a workshop as part of the post-graduation program in Arts of UNICAMP (University of Campinas, São Paulo).
So now, in September, Filipe has been in São Paulo for a complete program. She has given a lecture and participated in a round table along side with teachers and coordinators of UNICAMP: Prof. Dra. Anna Paula Gouveia, Prof. Dr. Edson Pfutzenreuter and Prof. Dra. Maria de Fátima Morethy Couto.
With a very conceptual work that goes beyond traditional jewelry ways of expression, going further on using medias such as photography and video, the quality of Filipe’s works and words were crucial to the positive reception of Art Jewelry in this academic environment.
After the round-table, Filipe has given workshop and once the University belongs to the government, the course was free of charge. I had the opportunity to be one of the assistants during these days and it was great to see 18 students of different backgrounds getting in touch for the first time with art jewelry practices and thinking.As a result of this meeting, we had an open door to the art-jewelry in the Art Department of one of the most important universities in the country.
After all, what does it mean? Getting closer to the institutions may provide more opportunities for international guest artists to come. This means different ways of thinking, the enhancement of the dialogue between art jewelry creators globally, what can be productive for all sides.
The Art Jewelry world is small and Latin Americans have a certain feeling of isolation of the scene. These efforts of interchange are slowly growing allowing to reach broader audiences. One step at a time, let’s hope for the best in the future.
To see pictures of the workshop, click on the following link:
The Otro Diseño Foundation Foundation is proud to announce the opening of Think Twice: New Latin American Jewellery, to take place at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in New York from October 12, 2010 through January 8, 2011.
Think Twice, curated by the Netherlands-based, Mexican-born architect and historian Valeria Vallarta Siemelink, is the largest exhibition of contemporary jewellery from Latin America ever organized and it will tour around the Americas and Europe during the next few years.
This exhibition, featuring over 125 pieces, aims to offer the audience a glimpse of the history of contemporary jewellery in Latin America (through a small collection that contain pieces from the 1940′s and to the 1990′s) and comprehensive view of its development in the last 10 years, by showing the way in which visual artists and jewellery makers born or living in Latin America view and relate, through jewellery, to the continent. The exhibition has been organized in three idle groups (History, memory and Tradition, A Flair for Invention and Latin America as a Source of Inspiration) which, rather than imposing a rigorous system of classification, they attempt to give sense to a broad and diverse selection. So, many of the works that compose this collection could easily fit into more that one of these groups. The collection as a whole reflects the continent’s historical development, dynamic mix of cultures and its socio-political realities, all of which are constantly transforming themselves.
The Ca. 85 artists that take part of this exhibition show that Latin American jewellery today is tremendously varied in its scope: figurative or abstract, conceptual or symbolic, traditional or experimental. It intersects between the conventionally distinct categories of craft, visual art, and design and fusses seemingly diverse references, concepts and materials. Able to generate both national and transnational communication, it all has been made by committed jewellery makers, heirs to a millenary tradition and part of a culture in which jewellery is a common language.
Think Again, developed by the Otro Diseño Foundation, is born out of a passion for jewellery as a medium of personal and cultural expression and of the conviction that the fresh, intense and highly creative work of Latin American jewellery makers outstandingly represents and nurtures the culture they live in and therefore greatly enriches and diversifies the international landscape of contemporary jewellery.
As commented by Urusula Newman, Jewellery Curator at the MAD “This is a very special show. This jewellery is virtually unknown in the United States. The artists’ realize their sophisticated concepts through intriguing choices of materials and techniques, creating unique works that present a fascinating amalgam of indigenous cultural elements and the latest trends in international contemporary jewellery design”.
This exhibition represent a tremendous achievement in the promotion of contemporary jewellery for Latin America and a huge effort by the Otro Diseño Foundation, the participant artists and all the museums that have generously decided to host the exhibition.
We hope that many of you will have the chance to visit the exhibition at the MAD or at any other of its future venues.
Hena Lee, Brazil
Jorge Manilla, Mexico-Belgica
Jimena Rios, Argentina
Claudia Cucchi, Brazil-Italia
Martha Camargo, Colombia
Ximena Briceno, Peru-Australia
Nilton Cunha, Brazil
Carlos Martiel, Cuba
Carlos Castanon, Argentina
Linda Sanchez, Colombia
Dani Soter, Brazil
Art Smith, Cuba/Jamaica-USA
Beat Eissmann, Germany-Mexico
Carolina Hornauer, Chile
Reny Golcman, Brazil
Helena Biermann, Colombia-Alemania
Leda Daverio, Argentina
Celio Braga, Brazil
Chequita Nahar, Surinam
Teresa Margolles, Mexico
Every year, thousands of six-pack rings threaten the lives of shore birds and marine animals harming our environment.
Greencard Creative, a multidisciplinary agency that creates, transforms and promotes brands, movements and initiatives from and to the American Latino audience in the US and in Latin America and often focused in environmental and social matters, has developed Origomu, a project that promotes to promote environmental awareness through design. Origomu is a technique that uses the plastic six-pack rings used to hold together six-packs of beer and soda cans to create jewellery.
Greencard Creative has created a contest to select and award the best three pieces:
1st Prize $5,000
2nd Prize $2,000
3rd Prize $1,000
And to feature the best 500 pieces in a book published by Taschen Books.
Although the contest was originally targeted to the general public (so visitors of this blog are kindly invited to participate), Otro Diseno believes that Jewellery has a tremendous power to communicate and its portability makes it an ideal media to promote awareness on matters as important as this one. We are convinced that the limitless talent and ability to transform, create and communicate though ornaments that you jewellery-makers have, would make a remarkable contribution to the Origomu initiative. Therefore, we would like to invite you all to take part of this project which we hope you will find challenging, encouraging and important enough.
The only premise is to use plastic six-pack rings as part of your piece. You can either learn the Origomu technique explained at the Origomu site of the create your own. The rings can be manipulated any way you can think of and can be combined with all kinds of materials. The format is free and you can present up to five pieces (or a series of five).
To enter the contest, all entry forms and photos of your finished work must be submitted before November 30th, no later than 11:59PM US East Time.
Please, vist the Origomu webpage to learn more about the project.
We are sure that many of you will be able to make a good statement about this important matter. We hope thatyou will be challenged by smart initiative and that the Taschen book will feature the work of many of you.
It all started from several questions about what I do: what is my work as a jeweler, and that’s how I began to do some research on open pit mines, established in breathtaking, secluded locations, hidden from the view and knowledge of people.
Todo empezó a partir de varios cuestionamientos sobre mi trabajo, y fue así que empecé a investigar sobre las minas a cielo abierto, ubicadas en espectaculares parajes inaccesibles, escondidas a los ojos y al conocimiento de los pueblos.
…”The 100 brooches-medals, filled with waste from the matter that is left after creating the pieces of jewelry, make a transgressive statement. Their serial reproduction deactivates the concept of uniqueness and, therefore, questions the social role of pieces of jewelry as amplifiers of identities. Dust becomes an image of fragmentation, dissolution and homogenization of shared identities in crisis, in a world which is on the verge of self-destruction. Their appearance of brooches-lockets re-connects us to a dark, shared origin within the womb of the earth, which may help us redeem and protect ourselves, as the ancient charms of primitive men when they believed in the need to restore the balance with their environment, broken by their hunting and food collection activities.”
Ramon Puig Cuyàs, May 2010.
…”Los 100 broches-medalla, rellenos de los residuos que quedan de de las materias expresivas después de hacer sus joyas, se manifiestan con voluntad transgresora. Su multiplicación seriada provoca la desactivación de lo singular, y por lo tanto el cuestionamiento de la función social de la joya como amplificadora de identidades. El polvo se convierte en imagen de la fragmentación, la disolución y la homogenización de identidades compartidas en un mundo en crisis, en un mundo asomado al abismo de la autodestrucción. Pero además su aspecto de broches-relicario les confiere la capacidad de re-ligarnos a un oscuro origen compartido, que se hallaba en las entrañas de la tierra, y que pueden ayudar a redimirnos y a protegernos, como lo hacían los antiguos amuletos del hombre primitivo cuando creía en la necesidad de restablecer la armonía con su entorno, rota por sus actividades de caza y recolección.”
Ramon Puig Cuyàs , Mayo 2010
Brooch: Fragment of the picture of the open pit mine Veladero in San Juan, Argentina, and silver sweeps-filings from my workbench.
Broche: Fragmento de foto de la mina a cielo abierto de Veladero, en San Juan, Argentina, y mi polvo-basura de plata (de mesa mi de joyería).
Thus was edited these 100 books, containing 100 pins.
Y… así fué como se editaron estos 100 libros que contienen los 100 broches.
I have a tendency to make connections with other disciplines when I am looking at an Art-Jewelry piece. The points of connections with drawing and jewellery are particularly interesting for me. I’ve been researching this dialogue for a long time .
When I meet an artist that is somehow working on the same subject, at least in my point of view, I find it stimulating. I see other solutions for the inner questions I ask myself all the time: the crossing over the two dimensions world into the three-dimensional one.
Many of us are familiar with Doris Betz pieces, where she reveals her concern with lines , transforming the graphite of a pencil into silver lines looking for spontainity.
There is also the coloful work of Liana Pattihis recently published at Dreaming Jewelry from Monsa Publishers showing not only her peculiar enamel procedings, but at least for me, a profusion of lines that are vigorous in its intense red tones.
Last week I saw some of the works of Hena Lee that can be seen as working somehow in this direction.
With a background in architecture, the brazilian artist has participated in NOVAJOIA’s workshops with Ela Bauer (october 2009) and Karin Seufert & Tore Svensson (november 2009). Since then she started to develop a jewellery work that, to me, dialogues with drawing.
The change started from questioning herself about her own identity. The chosen materials revealed her korean inheritance: sesame, pepper powder and chopsticks.
The chopsticks were initialy used in its natural colors. Once painted in black ,they started to bring a very strong graphic quality to the work.
The developments of the most recent pieces are showing an increase of its graphic qualities. The thick and hard line of the choptsticks are giving space to the flexible and light cotton thread. The line that was holding the pieces together now is also working as a plastic element.
When there is color, it is punctual.
The domain of the black, as FRUTIGER explains, works removing the light, emphasizing the space around, activating it. We see in these pieces drawings that go further in the three-dimensional space.
Hena Lee is one of the brazilian artists in Think Again, opening next october 12th (MAD/NY).
about : FRUTIGER, Adrian. Sinais & Símbolos. São Paulo: Ed. Martins Fontes, 2001.
I also would like to take this opportunity to thank Iaspis who supported me and made my travel to Mexico possible.
As a continuity of my previous post, I would like to jump some years until the beginning of the 60’s with the appearance of a key figure in Brazilian Art scene, Lygia Clark. As art critic Suely Rolnik writes in the essay “The Body’s Contagious Memory”, her very experimental works “are generally understood as multisensorial experiences, whose importance lies in overcoming the reduction of artistic research to the field of the gaze”.
Lygia Clark, Mask with Mirrors, 1967
In 1969, Lygia Clark wrote: “At the very moment when the artist digests the object, he is digested by society which has already found him a title and a bureaucratic function: he will be the future engineer of leisure, an activity that has no effect whatsoever on the equilibrium of social structures.”
Lygia Clark, Hand Dialogue, 1966
I start quoting Clark’s words because regarding Art Jewellery, we are always close to the risk of using “glamorous virtuosity in the attempt to fill an empty discourse, a pastiche entirely devoid of critique, which can easily be digested by the market and is perfectly suited to the new regime’s demand for aestheticization” as Rolnik also explains.
Dani Soter,Estou/Não estou (I am/I am not)
This being said I would like to mention the works of a Brazilian artist that do not fall at all into this contemporary trap, Dani Soter. Also as Clark, Dani Soter has lived in Paris where she graduated in Languages and Civilizations at Sorbonne. It was a personal crisis that led her to the Art practices. Today, Soter is back to Paris after having lived in Lisbon where she attended jewellery courses at Ar.Co.
Dani Soter, Part of the instalation “Muita Calma nessa hora” (Keep calm now)
When we think of Soter’s works we will not find any glimpse of blingbling aspects. On the contrary, we will find a commitment with concept and strong poetic thinking. Her works are drowned in multiple references making it hard to summarize only one aspect of it.
Dani Soter,Trecho (Interval) from the series “Do começo ao fim” (From the beginning to the end)
Her first media of experimentation was photography. They often refer to the empty, a sense of absence of the body or of a time that has passed. Soter’s works translate somehow in the visual world the universe of Brazilian’s writer Clarice Lispector.
Dani Soter, Broche da sorte (Lucky brooch)
As in Lispector’s writings, we feel in Soter’s pieces an atmosphere of silence, of stopping time to feel the beauty of the ordinary.
Dani Soter, Constelação de Alexis (Alexis’ Constelation)
It is in the photographs that we first see the red lines emerge. Soter herself says: “I am interested in communication and maps. Drawing is the most straight way to communicate something, whether is a passage, a feeling or an idea. In maps, what interests me the most are the red lines traced to show how one arrives from one point to another. The line works as a connection.”
Dani Soter, Follow me
As a contemporary Ariadne, Soter and her red lines are connecting points of voids and marking lived territories. The connection that exists in her artistic thinking allows her to pass through different medias, suggesting one in another: “I try to avoid reworking photographs. I like irregularities, the fragility of forms that a drawing can have, the spontaneity of a gesture. Letting the traces transform themselves into lines, as prolongations of body’s movements. The tattoos are drawing-jewels”.
Dani Soter, À Mostra (Shown)
The drawn lines become even more irregular when she decides to use her own hair to evoke the eternal and at the same time refer to the ephemeral. For her that’s when jewellery and drawing meet. Being the ultimate lines of the body, the hair lines reflect fragility.
Dani Soter, Impulso (Impulse)
Whether on paper or on a more three-dimensional media, her works often involve a certain possibility of interaction and go further on categorizations. There is no use trying to classify them as a photograph (that talks about drawing) or an object (that talks about jewellery) or a jewellery (that is an object). Easy definitions are not applied here. The great thing about this body of works is that she leaves to us the most interesting part of job: to be free to complete their meanings.
Dani Soter, Germinal
Dani Soter has participated in the Walking the Gray Area blog and will be part of the Think Twice exhibition to be opened next October at MAD Museum, New York.
I’ve just recently read the interesting text of Marta Carmelo in Art Jewelry Forum giving voice to the Mexican jewelers and how the Gray Area Symposium has came up with new concepts and proposals for the local contemporary jewelers. I’ve read texts of Europeans that came home and were also questioning themselves about the ways we are positioning ourselves in the market/artworld, etc. As the one of the two Brazilian lecturers of the event, I would also give my input about it as well in this new series of post that I’ll be writing.
First I would like to introduce you to the concept of anthropophagy and how it is strictly related to Brazilian identity.
According to Ana Maria Belluzo in her book “O Brasil dos Viajantes” the first images of America date from the XVI century. As she says, the name America derives from Americo Vespuccio and also reflects the wish to overcome its legendary state. Beyond the Atlantic everything was a legend, so the testimony of travelers acquired the state of truth and its images were seen as evidences.
One of the most important among these travelers is Hans Stade. The image we see is related to him and it describes a ceremony of Brazilian indians eating another human being: anthropophagy.
A very shocking image for these days if you focus your attention on the indian’s hairstyles and accessories, not to mention their Renaissancentist body structure…One can see since how long images can manipulate and fake ideas can be created.
His reports also dating from the XVI century would turn out into a sort of legend around here. Staden in his first-person narrative confesses his fears, premonitions and even tells he lies, leaving all the truth of the report in doubt. The ambiguity of his text creates a tension between the reality experienced by him (he was capture by a tribal and even treated as their pet) and the fictional description that involves the reader. This narrative would influence all the imagery about Brazil and would be the basis of the modernist book Macunaima of Mario de Andrade.
Andrade was a key figure in the modernist art movement that took place in Brazil in the first half of the XX century. The movement also counted with other writers and artists who were engaged in finding a national artistic identity. Most of them had studied in Europe, having had contact with the artistic avant-gardes. Coming back to Brazil they started to create theories and manifests that were the result of a mix: the European influences, Indian native and African ones. The result of this mix did not kept the original characteristics of the European influence, it was more an appropriation of the foreigner fused with national characteristics leading to a strong distortion. This artistic approach was called anthropophagic. The influences were eaten, digested and expelled into something different. It was their solution to the issue of cultural dependency.
As an example, one of the strongest images of this period is Tarsila do Amaral’s painting, Abaporu.
Why am I mentioning all these in a jewellery site? Well, the reason is that I see somehow a similar moment happening in Brazilian jewellery scene. Coming back from Gray Area Symposium we could realize that all Latin American speakers, as myself, have been abroad to study: so the first ingredient of the formula is there. Also, many of Latin American jewellery creators, confronted with this foreigner influence have come back to their roots in order to find their own creative expression. I believe now we are arriving at a second stage: a broader contamination of other national jewellery creators.
Although we have evident efforts such as Otro Diseño’s, Metalísteria and more recently NOVAJOIA’s actions, I believe an important element that is missing are schools devoted to teach Art Jewellery. I use the word devote because it demands a restless effort. As an example, after 2 years of trials, NOVAJOIA finally got its Art Jewellery courses proposals accepted by two Art Colleges. We are very excited with this opportunity of spreading the ideas we believe. We will probably have the availability of an institutional space to receive artists from abroad and increase interchange.
In these days where a single testimony do not turn out into lasting legends, where information can be more easily reached, we should communicate frequently and interact more, but not only virtually.
It is not only good for the emerging markets as ours, but as for the established ones since they are also going towards saturation and an excess of competition. As a relatively small group of creators, art jewellery makers should join globally to spread more actively their ideas and pieces, helping to create new poles of interest globally.
I leave you with the idea that participation and involvement could make the future perspectives better. In my opinion, Gray Area proved so.
Longing for the Body, 2005, photographer: André Penteado
Walking the Gray Area, an exhibition that was on show for six weeks at Galeria Emilia Cohen in Mexico City, has come to an end. The road that lead the memorable WGA collection was a strange but equally rewarding one for the 40 artists involved and a sort of key that opened the door of contemporary jewellery for a large group of viewers foreign to this engaging discipline.
The culmination of the Walking the Gray Area exhibition, does not mean the end of the walk for the artists and the growing audience who have made of this blog a tool to discuss and learn about the endless possibilities of contemporary jewellery and the richness that cultural diversity brings to its landscape.
The Gray Area Symposium that framed the exhibition and the exhibition itself served to confirm that jewelery is an interesting and fertile media and that there are countless artists all over the world producing extraordinary work, able to amaze the most diverse audience; but it has also served to confirm that its reach still extremely small and that a one week academic gathering is not enough to change the constricted character of the international scene of contemporary jewellery.
The Walking the Gray Area Blog has attracted a record audience of over 15 thousand visitors from over 100 countries in only eight months. An audience that is as diverse as the artists that have protagonized the blog for the last six months. Otro Diseno, in collaboration with organizations and individuals from around the world, has taken upon the task to continue this blog as a platform to promote understanding and appreciation of the diverse ways to view, experience, and create jewellery in a global context and beyond its current circle of devotees.
This new stage of Walking the Gray Area will be inaugurated by Brazilian artist Mirla Fernandes, founder of the project Nova Joia. Mirla will post a periodical review of the contemporary jewellery scene in Brazil to present and discuss the work of artists, designers and jewellery makers born and/or living in her country.
We hope that this stage will encourage other WGA artists to keep in touch among themselves and to share with the audience those projects, images, events and ideas that touch and inspire them.
It doesn’t seem so long ago at all – the symposium event and exhibitions, the noise, chaos, and excitement of being in Mexico, and the volcanic ash cloud that tried to keep most of us there…
It was good that so many of you and more were able to be there, and I extremely enjoyed meeting you!
This Sunday our exhibition will have come to an end and will be dismounted.
Valeria is preparing a report including information to those artists who had work sold, but I wanted to finally post a few images to give some impressions. The exhibition looked amazing, and got extremely good reactions. We had ‘floating’ showcases suspended from the ceiling, one for the work of each couple.
That’s it for today, hopefully more soon!