Deep affection and preciousness seem to go hand in hand. The jewellery we wear and the objects we choose to adorn our house with often present emotional, aesthetic and spiritual values, or a personal association that goes well beyond the financial aspect. Trinkets with a story behind them, a connection with a dear one or a memory can be as precious and irreplaceable as a rare diamond.
The exhibition comprises a selection of contemporary jewellery and objects by leading international artists exploring the notion of value beyond material worth. From the 1970s, artists deliberately started bypassing and questioning the role of traditional processes and precious materials and allowed jewellery and craft to become personal expressions rather than status symbols, a carrier of meaning rather than luxury.
The show includes works by Lisa Walker, who celebrates the use of glue and found objects without establishing any hierarchy between them and the precious materials. Lin Cheung starts from the traditional forms and language of jewellery to subvert them. For example, the classic form of the locket pendant is locked and thus unusable, and the supposed memories inside it are now kept forever secret. David Clarke’s recent works are casts and alterations of domestic objects that belonged and meant something to his deceased mother, on which audiences can project their own narratives. Shifting the emphasis to an almost spiritual level, Kimiaki Kageyama makes rings in Japanese Urushi lacquer coming from an antique portable shrine, and exquisite iron repoussé copies of flowers and leaves that he selects instinctively during his walks with the aim of capturing their aura.
The artworks are displayed with a somewhat didactic intention, as we feel that contemporary jewellery could benefit from the engagement of audiences that might be less accustomed to this world. With this exhibition we would like to convey that jewellery and crafts, and in particular their most contemporary expressions, have the power to channel stories and ideas about how we relate to one another and to the world around us.
Artist in the show:
Lin Cheung (GB), David Clarke (GB), Kirsten Haydon (NZ), Kimiaki Kageyama (JPN), Marc Monzo (ESP), Mah Rana (GB), Bernhard Schobinger (CH), Bettina Speckner (DE), Hans Stofer (CH), Lisa Walker (NZ)