“Where Blue hides after Dark ” was the title of my first solo exhibition in Sienna Gallery in Autumn 2014 where I was showing pieces from the “Karma Chroma” – series. Sienna Patti and I decided to make a catalogue to accompany the exhibition. It was immediately clear to me that I would like photos of the pieces worn upon the body in this catalogue besides pictures of the pieces on white paper.
In the past, I didn’t think of the body much whilst making my jewellery pieces. For me, it was actually more like creating sculptures on a small scale which had the option of being attached to the body. Once people started buying and wearing some pieces of mine, I realised how the pieces came to life when they were put on the body… I am making jewellery after all.
Before this project I photographed my pieces on the body myself. I was asking friends to model for me, quite casually photographing them wearing my work in front of a white wall. These pictures were not bad, but they were also nothing special.
For this catalogue I wanted something more sophisticated, with a narrative and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to achieve this myself. However, finding the right person for such a project can be a cause of sleepless nights. I wanted a photographer who would be able to create a strong atmosphere in the photographs without taking too much attention from the jewellery pieces. I didn´t want the images to appear too much like fashion photography, yet still retain a tiny touch of a gloss; a very fine line. So I was looking for a person with a sensitive understanding of the artworks, but also someone who has her/his own strong visual expressiveness.
It was pure luck that brought me together with Laurens Grigoleit. A friend of mine, who had just recently photographed by him, made the contact. Laurens, who creates artistic photographs as well as working as a fashion photographer, was not only interested in taking the pictures, but even offered to bring a whole professional team including make up artist Nadja Kaiser, stylist Katharina Gruszczynski and Laurens´ photo assistant.
The models were our mutual friend Angela Geisenhofer, Stefano Troia and Mari Halang (who was, back then, only starting her career, but has since worked for huge companies, such as Zara, Mango and Monki).
I was excited and a bit anxious at the prospect of working with so many people on these photographs but I needn’t have worried; everyone involved was extremely sensitive and professional. We had discussed ideas for the images by phone already and so on the actual day of the shoot, I didn’t have much more to do than to serve snacks and drinks and watch it all happen. I was particularly amazed by the complicated nature of the lighting. Laurens and his assistant took a lot of time in the beginning to construct this lighting and I couldn’t imagine at all how this would appear in the images. When I then saw the first photos on the screen, I was quite amazed. He brilliantly uses an effective incidence of light to create a kind of painterly impression, making the images look almost like renaissance portraits.
The stylist Katharina and the make-up artist Nadja also did a wonderful job. Together they succeeded to create these strong and beautiful images, which cannot really be defined in time or place.
The second really lucky thing to happen regarding this catalogue was that jewellery artist Karen Pontoppidan, former professor at the Konstfack Universitiy College of Art, Craft and Design in Stockholm and now newly appointed Professor of the jewellery department at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, agreed to write an essay about my work. As expected this turned out to be striking and very perceptive.
Sienna Patti asked me, if I would also like to write a text for the catalogue. I struggled for days, trying to put my thoughts and feelings about this work into words. I always disliked writing artist statements. I think this must be because my work is so emotional and intuitive. Often I had the feeling that I was taking away some of the work’s “magic” by trying to characterize it in words. In the end, I decided not to write an explanation about the work, but a short story; a kind of fairytale, which is connected to it. This was, in fact, a dream I had:
Blue was a cautious, thoughtful being that knew it had to take good care of itself in order not to lose any of its radiance and glow. Whenever it felt weak and turned pale, Blue retreated to a safe, well- hidden place, resting until it regained its former strength. The other colours were not that prudent. Even though they may have been stronger, bolder and more vibrant than Blue, they were blinded by their own beauty and did not grasp the peril of being present and radiant all the time. So it came that even after all other colours had faded and almost vanished from this world, Blue was still gleaming vividly on the waves of the oceans and in the currents of the sky.
Who is Blue? No sense in denying that I can identify myself with the Blue creature in my dream. I often have to retire from the social world in order to function or simply to feel like myself again. I guess I do fit the stereotype of the unworldly hypersensitive artist. Yet in my dream, Blue actually accepts this weakness and even turns it into its strength.
I have since realised that creating art is doing this for me; turning my weaknesses into a potent energy. When I feel I have to reload my batteries or when I feel lost, I go to my well-hidden workshop in the middle of nowhere and start to create. This is my safe place and I am very thankful to have it.
1 Sting, necklace, 2013; graffiti, silver; 19,5 x 8,8 x 2,4 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
2 Medulla 3, necklace, 2014; cactus, graffiti, silver; 26 x 46 x 3,4 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
3 Medulla 2, earrings, 2014; cactus, graffiti, silver, paint; 6,2 x 2,4 x 1,4 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
4 Raduga Tree 3, brooch, 2014; graffiti, silver, stainless steel; 18,0 x 7,2 x 5,4 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
5 Nugget, brooch, 2014; graffiti, silver, stainless steel; 6,4 x 5,3 x 3,2 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
6 Where Blue hides after Dark, brooch, 2014; graffiti, glass, silver, stainless steel; 12,7 x 4,3 x 2,3 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
7 Rabbit´s Foot, necklace, 2014; graffiti, wood, silver, paint; pendant: 8,8 x 7,0 x 3,3 cm, chain: 67 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
8 Heart Tree, necklace, 2014; graffiti, wood, silver, paint; 44 x 23 x 8,0 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
9 Raduga Buds 4, necklace, 2014; wood, graffiti, silver, paint; 25 x 41 x 3,3 cm; Photo: Laurens Grigoleit
Text edit: Hayley Grafflin