Swedes and Belgian Blues
Opening: September 2nd, 17-21
Chocolate , beer and Jean-Claude Van Damme, waffles, the European parliament and Brussels sprouts. Sadly enough people probably also associate Belgium with terror and cattle with breeding problems.
When we think of Belgium we think of jewellery! Not only of the diamonds in Antwerp, but predominantly of the eminent art jewellery scene. Belgium has some of the most famous contemporary jewellery schools, – galleries and – artists. Playful, thought provoking and with an elegant confidence, the art jewellery culture is vibrant and powerful.
Galerie Beyond (formerly Beyond Fashion) is situated in the central parts of Antwerp and has been run by Karin De Buysere and René Darmont for 15 years. The work of the artists that the gallery represents has a conceptual strength and challenges the traditional perception of what jewellery is. The connection to the lively fashion- and art field is unmistakable while classic goldsmithing seams more distant.
The exhibition ”Swedes and Belgian Blues” is a co-operation between Galerie Beyond and Four, showing work by 5 Belgian and 5 Swedish artists. Sweden is also a well-known country in the international jewellery world and we also have an influential fashion scene. Are there any similarities? Are there any differences? To connect a certain aesthetic or a style to a nationality might be impossible in a society where the global art scene is only a browser away. But is there something of a local culture? Swedes and Belgian Blues will be shown in Antwerp in January 2017.
Anna Norrgrann (Se)
I’m attracted to the qualities in different kinds of metal that make them perform in various ways, depending on the treatment. I see my work as collaboration between these qualities in the material and my own technical skills. I search for the unexpected and aim to set up a poetic jewellery show that speak to the spectators’ senses rather than to their intellect.
In my latest project I did this within the space of an A4 in aluminium, I stretched, folded, forged and coloured the piece of metal in various ways, and then repeated the procedure many times. I wanted to investigate the limitations and possibilities this square contains, what it means to me and to us. How we communicate through it.
Anneleen Swillen (Be)
Jewellery can be considered as object and/or as subject. Moreover, it can be seen as an object (thing) in relation to a subject (body) and used or worn. But what does it mean to (re)present something as jewellery and what expectations are hereby created? Weights, pending. are inspired by acts of presentation (to wear, to hang and
to place) and their possible influence on the creation of a piece. Each necklace is composed of pairs of various pendants that differ in weight, shape and size. Both sides of the necklace can be shifted and scaled in search for a balance – or imbalance – when worn. Carrying these weights as a collection of charms around the neck and shoulders does not go unnoticed for the wearer and the viewer. How is this experienced, both physically and mentally? What is the relationship between the piece and the body? How will the piece influence the person’s behaviour or actions? And how does the viewer perceive it? The way in which something is communicated or portrayed, the context in which it is placed, the actions and gestures it evokes, among other matters that at first may be regarded as supporting or supplemental, are in fact essential for the object’s existence and interpretation.
Inspired by the way daily goods are consumed and (re)presented, Anneleen Swillen tries to draw attention to the intrinsic but often unnoticed qualities of everyday objects. Weights, pending. (2016) is the new series within CONTAINERS (since 2014 and on going), an artistic research into both formal and functional potential of disposable packaging for object and jewellery design.
Arnaud Sprimont (Be)
With this brand new series, Arnaud Sprimont pursuits a little more the questioning on the basis of his creative research. Supported both by a scientific and empirical observation of the cells and patterns of the living, he walks up and down an invisible and frightening universe, where the strong ties that exist between human being and nature reveal themselves. It’s precisely the exploration of this creeping network that’s at the heart of his approach and of his will to define himself, in nature and in harmony with it, as microbiotes living in symbiosis with their host.
Initially, Arnaud Sprimont, draws his raw material within nature. From elements harvested during his peregrinations, he generates a new alphabet of the living that’ll be the basis of a grammar intended to spin his own mankind. This opens the way to a hybridisation work: a construction is achieved from multiple elements creating a kind of a new biological makeup, fully fantastic and with baroque appearance, such as a crossbreed of improbable species. His interpretation of the material eventually tends to dematerialise the shapes so that they become a representation of his own universe. Their white appearance, neutral, and close to a scientific picture, approach as close to the final shapes to capture their reliefs and shadows. The items of Arnaud Sprimont reveal as an extension in the most secret and unfathomable of the human body through a will of defining his true nature in all his boundlessness.
Hanna Liljenberg (Se)
Darkness is in one way or another constantly recurring in my jewellery making. Like a sunburned or frost-covered hassock, the brooch becomes a blackness to carry around and to show. With its silent sharpness the jewellery require the wearers attendance in the present. I like the idea that shape and material forces you to adapt to what you are wearing.
My jewellery is in constant collision between the organic and the rigidly constructed. In this project I wanted to simplify the construction of my jewellery to the greatest extent, and I have been working with old painting techniques to produce light in the darkness. Having previously worked with repetitions of one single form, I have now tried to shape one sprawling piece into a cohesive unit.
Jonathan Hens (Be)
Jonathan Hens’ striking work speaks of recent developments in today’s world, which has seen a fusion between the banal and the sub/material-cultures and has become a place where men and women have merged into androgynous beings. His designs are the result of an intense search for an alternative identity. Rather than a classic example of beauty, the viewer gets to see Henś interpretation of it. His dark look mirrors (or reflects) ́the noẃ, a place where there is scope for experiment and self-expression. His atypical aesthetic has no truck with traditional techniques. Jonathan Hens creates a visual game between austere forms and a rough edge finish. He heightens the geometry and black textures by using suture thread to bind the various elements. His work raises many questions, such as what beauty means today and whether or not there is still a difference between the sexes. Jonathan Henś work gives us greater insight into the diversity of our world.
Karen Vanmol (Be)
Paradolia takes place in the psyche and makes us see familiar things in random shapes. The human mind always has the desire to be able to name things and thus creates this illusion. Our brains are so eager to recognize patterns and correlations they see them where there are none. It works different for everybody but symmetry is an important aspect in that process. Is that why we humans are bothered if something not seems to be in its right place? A very recognizable form of paradolia is seeing a horse in the clouds or a monster under the bed. In a less harmless way it involves preconceptions.
Karin Roy Andersson (Se)
The urge to repeat movements over and over again, methodically and resolutely is something that is significant for both my personality and my work. Multiplicity and recurrence attract me. In a large scale the variations between the details are very important. I create structures and rhythms using small elements to build dynamic patterns. My aim is that the result in a small scale should express harmony and balance. Since I was a kid I have had a strong interest in animals, especially fish and birds. I love their shape, their movements and the pattern of the feathers and scales, their bodies, faces and exceptional behaviour. Lately the backsides have become more important. The stitches and the steel construction reveal the craft behind the work – a naked explanation that could be shown, or hidden only accessible to the wearer.
My pieces are made of plastics collected from garbage containers and ditch-banks. I keep my eyes open when I go to the hairdresser; I search in my friends’ bathrooms and fridges – you have to be observant if you are going to find that perfect jewellery material. The material still has traces from the consumer society, but in the finished pieces the industrial image has gained a more organic impression.
Linnéa Eriksson (Se)
My work is a reflection of my surroundings, and my creativity has its origin in the urban – in the rough surface of the city and in the structured geometric. I find my inspiration in pieces of metal, in the feeling of a heavy beat, and in an explosion of colour from within the spray cans. It is in a combination of traditional jewellery crafts and the modern street expression that my jewellery finds its charge, and subjects such as family history and the need to belong is constantly recurring in my artistic work.
Sanna Svedestedt Carboo (Se)
Tine De Ruysser (Be)
By making a jewellery collection from money, Tine De Ruysser questions the value we place in gold and money. The two materials are closely related. After all, paper money came into existence because people did not want to carry their gold around when travelling. When “paper money” was first used there was no more money printed then there was gold in the bank. Money was worth gold. Through time the connection between money and gold has turned around: now gold is worth money. So why do we still wear gold? Would we be better off wearing money? It is just as effective to show off our wealth and provide some wearable financial security. Or is it?
For this piece too banknotes are used as a precious material rather than a means of payment, or as objects in their own right. The notes are put together to create an object that is clearly precious because of the used materials. It is pretty due to the colours and patterns of the notes. It could be worn as jewellery, but because of its size is also suitable as an object to beautify the home. The banknotes are not damaged, so the object can be taken apart and returned to the monetary value of the materials. Just like precious metals.
Artists on this Event