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A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE

A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE

 

It was that week of the year again…
The only week in the year when I iron my clothes and apply lipstick every morning. The week when I hardly get any sleep at night, experience consistent dehydration in the afternoons and become hoarse to speechless over the course of the day. The week when even I (who rarely ever drinks a drop of alcohol) am longing for a drink every evening. The week when Munich is invaded by the community of the contemporary jewellery world, without the people of Munich even noticing it.
The week before last was Munich Jewellery Week 2017. What a harmless title for this jam-packed abundance of everything to do with contemporary jewellery. I think Munich Jewellery War would be as appropriate, because you easily get the feeling that you need to fight your way through the week in order to simply persevere, no matter if you came to see or show or both. Or Munich Jewellery Walk, as there is definitely a lot of walking involved during these days. From one exhibition, artist talk, party event to the next all day, several days... Or Munich Jewellery Wow, because it is altogether an overwhelming experience, stimulating and exhausting simultaneously.

Last year I had only started writing the KARMA CHROMA- blog and gone into the MJW with the expectation of writing a rich synopsis of all I saw and heard, but the task was just too big for me. In the end, I wrote two articles about two artists whose shows I had visited during the week. Given that around 80 jewellery exhibitions had been on show and I had seen probably half of them, that is a bit meager of course, but I think I prefer it that way. This year, I had an exhibition with three colleagues myself and did not manage to see too much unfortunately. So, this year I will merely write about our project during the MJW 2017.

Our exhibition with the curious title “A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE” showed a large number of the latest jewellery pieces and artworks of other media of Attai Chen, Mielle Harvey, Barbara Schrobenhauser and me in the two rooms of the “Verein für Originalradierung München” (an association, which usually is specialized in showing etching art). Barbara, Attai and I studied together almost the whole time in the Munich jewellery class at the ADBK and have been very good friends and colleagues ever since with a lively exchange. Attai Chen and I have been a couple for the last nine years, during which our work has been profoundly influenced and inspired by each other. Mielle is from an earlier generation of Künzli graduates, though I have felt connected with her work for a long time as she was one of my idols when I began to explore art jewellery. She is also a lovely person, so it was both an honour and a pleasure to make this exhibition project with her. The four of us felt that our work was strongly connected in some ways, but was also different enough to create an interesting diverse exhibition together. It wasn’t a curated exhibition though, so we needed to elaborate a concept for our show.

An extract of our exhibition text reads:

“The exhibition, ‘A BARBARIAN, A TITLE & A MIRACLE’ is designed like a collage, created from the collision of diverging and intersecting nuggets of meaning. A group show is a kind of assemblage of different artistic positions, joined temporarily to create a new whole. To this end, we take on the exhibition like a game of scrabble, juxtaposing our individual bodies of work to expose new meanings.”

The idea of making a collage, which created new perspectives and meanings for our work, was the core of the concept when we developed the title, the invitation card and the presentation of the work. For our strange title, we wrote down our four first names on paper, cut the letters apart and played a scrabble game with them until we found a sequence of words, we liked. In the process, many even odder titles came up, but we liked “A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE” the best. It could be the title of a poetic story or the beginning of a joke...

For the presentation of the work, we built four long tables assembled from many boards of different colour, material and thickness. We collected pieces of old furniture from different eras and other disregarded boards for several months to have enough interesting material at hand. We all liked this idea also for ecological reasons. It was agreed that in the past we’d experienced that too much waste is created for exhibitions which are only on display for a few days, so we wanted to try to produce as little new waste as possible for this project.
Building the tables went astonishingly fast, but laying out the jewellery pieces took more time than anticipated. For two full days, we were trying different variations. We felt that finding the right way to place the pieces on the patchwork tables was the key to making the show work. The “new nuggets of meaning” became our motto and a running joke during this phase. It was important for us to not only lay pieces next to each other by chance, but to choose them very carefully in order to find interesting partners and relevant groups. In the end, I think we succeeded very well. One visitor even liked one particular “new nugget of meaning” so much, she said, that the two pieces belonged to each other and purchased them together.

Attai Chen (born 1979 in Jerusalem, Israel) showed his new paper jewellery series Matter of Perspective, which addresses the theme of multiple perspectives and how we perceive our surroundings. The explosive disorder of his previous paper series is now bundled and tamed in oval shapes. The way he cuts the paper has also changed quite a bit. Attai is building countless little flat projections of cardboard, which he merges into complex abstract views. Even though Attai was mainly inspired by the Pre-Renaissance perception of space and perspective, for me they are like peepholes to futuristic apocalyptic cityscapes. The backs of the pieces are made with an intricate technique of layering and sanding graphite dust to smooth and slightly shiny surfaces.

Barbara Schrobenhauser (born 1979 in Traunstein, Germany) also exhibited totally new works: There were three freshly finished brooches, where Barbara explored the possibilities of creating a three-dimensional shape only by knotting a string. Like often with Barbara’s pieces, the viewer can only fully understand her works by touching them and so this exhibition was a great opportunity to do so. Barbara showed also several pendants and necklaces made of string and wooden handles. The strings were woven together elaborately to close the handles’ open shape and were hung into each other like the links of a chain. What I enjoyed about these pieces was the playful moment when people tried them on. Even though Barbara had actually planned them to be worn in a particular way, the visitors found different ways to wear them.

Mielle Harvey (born in 1971 in New York, USA), presented pendants, necklaces and brooches from two series: Silver Scenes and Moments of Sky. The delicate pieces, which she created in versatile techniques like painting, drawing and patinating silver, appear like windows that capture a glimpse of a fleeting moment. A passing butterfly or bird, a fluffy cloud or a view of a beautiful landscape, they all represent precious moments, which we too often overlook. I especially fell in love with one piece titled Cameo III, which was made by the lost wax casting technique. It shows a detail of a birch tree forest in an oval frame. At least this is my interpretation of this pendant, because it is almost abstract.

And I (Carina Shoshtary, born 1979 in Augsburg, Germany), showed most of my new pieces from the last 1 ½ years, which included necklaces, brooches and earrings. My idea was to create ceremonial jewellery for a fictitious tribe of hunter gatherers. The most characteristic material is still the graffiti paint, but now involves other found materials into my work, e.g. driftwood, seeds and shells etc. My colour emphasis shifted towards the colour red, which is truly fascinating for me at the moment. Associations to the body are always present. Some pieces contain shapes with bright red openings which invite the viewer to have a look inside the “organism”. One lady said that the pieces appear very seductive for her, but that there is also something unsettling about them. I liked that; it’s exactly the kind of ambivalence that I am looking for.

In our second smaller room, the four of us each exhibited other artworks.
Attai presented one of his new paper wall sculptures, which are a big replica of the brooches of his Compounding Fractions -series. A lot of people who knew his jewellery were amazed at how well he transported the details and the overall impression of the jewellery into a much bigger scale.
Barbara had four of her paper vessels in the second room. The pieces, which are created with incredibly complicated and time-intense techniques, were quite astonishing for the visitors, as many thought at first that they were made of stone and marble. Also, here people needed to touch and feel the paper to comprehend the objects.

Mielle, who is never working on a theme only in the medium of jewellery, but is always simultaneously drawing and painting, showed a couple of drawings on a big wall. The themes of her jewellery pieces were resumed here and gave people a wider insight into her creative work.
I showed four large-scale photographs of my beautiful sister in law wearing my jewellery pieces. The photographs are part of my second collaboration with Munich based photographer, Laurens Grigoleit, who in my eyes is a master of light. Some people even asked me if they were painted images. I will surely write more about this collaboration on the blog soon.

Altogether we were really happy with our exhibition. We want to thank everybody who came during this week, we really met many wonderful people! We also want to thank the "Radierverein" to rent us their beautiful rooms for this week!

Our special thanks goes to Katrin Eitner and the “Förderverein zum Aufbau einer Juliane Noack Künstlerförderung” for supporting this exhibition with a grant of 700 €. Our project was the second they funded, but there are more to come. So please follow up the news on their website!

And finally, we want to thank Tereza Novotna, who a few months ago started an internship with Attai and since then has become an irreplaceable force in many ways for all of us (e.g. when none of us had the energy anymore, she jumped in and made us this incredibly clever and handsome exhibition plan with the info about all the pieces): You are amazing, Tereza!!! Ty jsi nejlepší! Milujeme tě a rozhodně bychom tě adoptovali, kdyby nám to tvoje rodiče dovolili. Objímáme tě.

Images:
1Tereza Novotna: Exhibition plan for A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE
2/3 Building of the exhibition A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE, Photos: Carina Shoshtary/ Attai Chen
4-10 A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE, Munich, 2017; Photos: Carina Shoshtary
11 Attai Chen: Untitled; Necklace, 2017; Paper, paint, silver, wood, graphite; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
12 Barbara Schrobenhauser:  Confused and Concentrated; Brooch. 2017; Cotton, string, stainless steel; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
13 Barbara Schrobenhauser:  Vom Tragen und Halten II; Neckpiece2017; Wooden handels, woven string; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
14 Mielle Harvey: Moments of Sky Necklace; Necklace, 2016; Sterling silver, oil paint, silk cord; Photo: Mielle Harvey
15 Mielle Harvey: Cameo I, Pendant, 2017; Lost wax cast sterling silver, patina, oil paint, silk cord; Photo: Mielle Harvey
16 Carina Shoshtary: Over the Rainbow; Necklace, 2016; Graffiti, silver; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
17 Carina Shoshtary: Carnivore 3; Necklace, 2017; Graffiti, glass, silver; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
18-24 A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE, Munich, 2017; Photos: Carina Shoshtary, Tereza Novotna

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The secret Life of Plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

The secret life of plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

The secret Life of Plants is the title of an album from 1979 by Stevie Wonder that I like very much mainly due to its eclectic variety of weird mysterious noises, which make me feel just like Alice in Wonderland on an exploration tour. The album is the soundtrack to the documentary The Secret Life of Plants (1978), directed by Walon Green, which was based on the book of the same name by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. The book documents experiments, which deal with the idea that plants are sentient, that they experience pain and fear and react accordingly. Obviously the book and the movie were heavily criticized as the notion of plants having feelings was and still is considered paranormal and the experiments pseudoscientific. For me it is just the stuff that makes for perfect inspiration for my work. My latest pieces are titled Carnivore and I wrote an accompanying short story, which tells the story of a dissatisfied flower, who is turning into a giant greedy flesh-eating mouth.

Only recently scientists found proof through the use of modern technologies like MRI scanners that dogs have complex emotions like humans. This was still very much a controversial theme in the scientific world before. I think it is safe to say that everyone who has a dog and makes the effort to build a relationship with it can only wonder about such late acknowledgement of something that is so obvious. If you have ever shared your life with one of our loyal four-legged friends, you will never have wondered if they have similar feelings. More likely, you will have asked yourself how it is possible that your dog seems to understand your feelings much better than you understand what is going on in your dog. But it took science until today to find evidence that dogs have the same brain structures like us to feel emotions, that they produce the same hormones and undergo the same chemical changes when they are having them. A dog, so scientists believe today, has the emotional level of a three-year-old child, meaning dogs can feel love, suspicion, joy, anger, fear, disgust, distress, contentment and excitement just as we do. Shame, pride and guilt are emotions humans only develop later and scientists believe that dogs cannot experience them, but the last word is not spoken about that either I believe.

The secret life of plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

I am certainly not someone who is easily caught by paranormal ideas and theories, but I believe that knowledge and wisdom can be won through other ways than science alone. Peter Wohlleben, a German forester is sharing his observations about plants, particularly trees in a book titled Das geheime Leben der Bäume (The hidden Life of Trees). He describes how in the beginning of his career, he was treating trees as goods, assessing their value only by the price they would bring on the market. When he started to run survival training tours with tourists, his perception slowly changed and he started to become a keen observer of the forest, thereby coming across many fascinating wonders.

The forest- A social society?

The most significant assumption Peter Wohlleben makes in his book is probably that a forest is not an accumulation of individual trees, which don’t have anything to do with each other, but rather a kind of superorganism with a complex sophisticated system, which serves the purpose of keeping the whole forest with all its inhabitants intact, comparable to an ant colony. Only when the forest as a whole is healthy can it create an ecosystem, which is capable to resist cold and hot periods and buffer enough water so that the trees can live protectedly and so become really old. If a few of the inhabitants of a forest get sick and die, the roof of the forest breaks open and wind, heat and cold can enter. The soil partly becomes dry and the neighbours are endangered as well. So it is really in everybody`s interest that the neighbour stays fit too.
Peter Wohlleben describes that in order to keep this ecosystem in balance, the trees feed each other with nutritients, so that all have enough to thrive. Some trees stand on a better soil and therefore are able to a pump sugar solution to their neighbours, who are less lucky or are temporarily weakened by a vermin. Sounds like a successful system of social welfare…

But not all trees show a social behaviour towards their neighbours. The beech tree likes to cuddle with its family members, showing respect and taking care by sharing all resources even when standing really close to each other. If a beech gets close to a tree of another kind though, it develops an egotistical behaviour. Under the ground, the roots are pushing though every free space to subduct water and nutrients from the other. Unlike many other trees, the birch can enlarge the size of its crown lifelong and will do so until it has outrun any other kind of tree in close proximity. The others must hold out in the second floor.

The secret life of plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

Communication between trees

Peter Wohlleben states that the trees of a forest have a very well working system of communication through scents and even through electric signals, which travel though the interlaced underground network of roots and myceliums. With attractants some trees can bait certain enemies of a particular vermin. With others they warn their neighbour trees that enemies attacked them. As a result some tree families simultaneously produce untasty or even poisonous substances in their leaves and bark, so that the fiend looses appetite and withdraws. This happens quite slowly of course, but normally it works fast enough that none of the tress will suffer serious damage by the intruders. Trees in a forest also coordinate between them in which they blossom, because if they bloom together, a more successful mixing of genes is guaranteed.

Mr Wohlleben is sure that not only trees have the ability to communicate, but all plants in a healthy natural environment and that we didn’t even begin to understand the complex diverse ways of their communication. He also states that the more cultivated plants are, the more they seem to loose the ability to “talk”. He thinks it highly possible that growers would need less insecticides if they worked with wilder versions of their plants.

The secret life of plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

Educating their offspring and learning

Being a baby tree is hard. The grown ups are closing the crown of the forest, so that only very little light is coming through to the lower levels and too many siblings create a competitive situation. Peter Wohlleben found out that many of the little trees have to linger in the same height for a very long time and have to wait until one of their grown-up family members dies and comes down, so that there is light to make a leap in gaining height. Small trees, which look like only a few years old, can be already 80 years or older. It seems somehow cruel of the elder trees to claim all the sunlight for themselves and let their offspring stand in the dark, but forresters actually call this a pedagogical measure. Science found out that a very slow growth of young trees is the best supposition to reach an old age. The wood cells inside contain less air, so that the tree is more flexible and resistant in general. As the baby trees persevere in low levels close to the forest ground, the tree family is taking care of them by already integrating them into their network of feeding the week and needy.

According to the author, trees also have the ability to learn and often they have to learn the hard way. A tree can go without food for a while, but a lack of water very fast becomes a serious problem. Ignorant trees drink water greedily from the ground in spring and then often suffer injuries during hot summer periods. The tree trunk of the spruce for instance can get a crack, a wound from which the tree will suffer probably its whole life. But in the years to come the tree will handle its water budget more carefully, so that further such injuries can be prevented. But how is this even possible? Trees don’t have a brain where can they save knowledge and experience? For most scientists talking about trees which learn is as credible as a fairy tale, but some scientists already support this assumption, claiming that the tips of the tree’s roots might have similar structures to brains. Personally I find it very plausible that plants can learn too. We may not be able yet to explain it, but maybe this is only a matter of time.

The secret life of plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

Why are plants green?

We all learned about Photosynthesis in school: With the help of the chlorophyll the leaves use sunlight to produce nutrients and therfore energy. If the trees were able to use everything in an optimal way, there should be nothing left and the forest would be black even during the day. But chlorophyll cannot absorb the colour green and has to reflect the colours of this spectrum unusedly. This weekness of the chlorophyll is the reason why we can see the photosynthesis and why all plants appear green. I am wondering what the world would look like, if it wasn’t green the chlorophyll could not use, but blue, yellow, red or purple.
In some parks you can find beeches with red leaves. The reason for this anomaly is a disturbance of their metabolism. They lack an enzyme that is used to remove a red colourant, which was meant to safe the leaves from UV radiation. The emission of the red colours is causing a huge wastage of energy for the tree, so that they normally have a much shorter life expectancy.

The secret life of plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

The natural forest

In Germany it was decided that 5 % of all forests should be totally left alone, so that they can become the primeval forests of tomorrow. This is not much, but in Mr Wohlleben’s point of view it is a good beginning. The first early drastic changes in such a forest are already visible after only a few years. The originally planted conifers are eaten by insects, which could meanwhile multiply without hindrance. A couple of years later only a wasteland is left with pale tree skeletons. Not very romantic. But these dead trees build the best basis for the new forest to come. The first young generation of broadleaf trees have no parents to brake their growths and so they are not as strong as they should be. The social structure of a natural forest takes a long time to develop. Only after 100 years the plantation trees have vanished and only the second generation of broadleaf trees can grow protectedly under their parents welfare. When the second generation of trees reaches adulthood the forest becomes stable and can truly be called a natural forest. This forest would look like this: The tall mother trees would dominate the picture. They would have extremely straight and smooth trunks similar to the pillars of a cathedral, which would stand closely together and let only little sunlight though. The ground would show almost no bushes as they wouldn’t have enough light to grow. Maybe you imaged a natural forest as I did: chaotic and wild. But it seems that actually the opposite is true. Natural forests must draw an image of calm and order.

The secret life of plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

The newly found evidence of the emotional range of dogs naturally raised the question of a befitting treatment of dogs too. Surely an animal that can almost feel as strongly as us humans (oh most divine of all creatures) should be treated with respect. But what about all other animals for which scientists didn’t yet find evidence for their abilities to feel? Shouldn’t we better treat all animals respectfully (Scientists in California claim that fruit flys are able to dream…)? Or maybe even all living beings? Where would it leave us if we started to think about plant rights and plant welfare?

Peter Wohlleben is indeed comparing our exploitation of the forests to the suffering of farm animals. But he is also acknowledging the fact that we humans as well as all animals can only survive by killing other living beings. The question is, can we do it in a way that would avoid unnecessary suffering? And comparable to animals that would mean that trees would be able to live out their social needs in a natural forest climate. It should be apparent to us that forests are not only factories for wood but home and protection to countless animals and places of recovery for humans. I myself walk every day in a forest, which is only just behind where we live. I love walking there, but I can’t help feeling a sad energy inside this forest and since I read Mr Wohlleben’s book I think I have more of an idea why. Several times a year woodworkers are going in with heavy machinery. It always seems quite brutal and careless. The forest has already changed very much in the three years I have known it and some former nice places are in a desolate condition now. I can’t help wondering what this forest would look like if it could develop in a more natural way and if the woodworks would be handled with care.

The secret life of plants- With photographs by Michael Lange

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Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Michael Lange has been working since the late seventies as a magazine and commercial photographer and has been focusing on personal projects the last 20 years. He is currently based in Hamburg, Germany.
He has had numerous solo shows, amongst others at the prestigious Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation in Berlin, Robert Morat Gallery Hamburg, L.A. Gallery Frankfurt, Wouter van Leeuwen Gallery Amsterdam, photo-eye gallery Santa Fe and Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles. His work was part of various Photofestivals and fares such as „La Gacilly“ in France, „Noorderlicht“ in the Netherlands, or Paris Photo. He has twice been the recipient of the Stiftung Kulturfonds grant in Germany.

WALD – Landscapes of Memory searches for stillness and harmony. Michael Lange captures timelessness in lands seemingly untouched by human hands. Photographed over the course of three years in the coniferous and deciduous forests of Germany during the twilight hours, WALD is a documentation of the forest in its mythic form. The idea of the forest has been imaginary for centuries. Through fairytales and mythical narratives, the forest has emphatically written itself into collective memory. In it, the forest’s visual substance mostly sees itself as a psychic area of retreat, in which childish longings and fears can live on. Lange found those places of retreat in which the imaginings of childhood condense, in sober nature documentary form, into impressive visual coinages. His photographs were created beyond the paths and hiking trails, often in the thicket and dense undergrowth. He visually captures an experience that is expressed in the German Romantic specific term „Waldeinsamkeit“ – Sylvan Solitude.
His books WALD and FLUSS had been published by Hatje Cantz 2012 + 2015. Signed copies can be ordered at www.michaellange.eu.

Images:
1 Michael Lange: WALD # 0095, 2009
2 Michael Lange: WALD # 6678, 2010
3 Michael Lange: WALD # 2016, 2011
4 Michael Lange: WALD # 1000, 2010
5 Michael Lange: WALD # 0576, 2009
6 Michael Lange: WALD # 0252, 2009
7 Michael Lange: WALD # 0075, 2009
8 Michael Lange: WALD # 0172, 2009

Text edit: Hayley Grafflin

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Where Blue hides after Dark

Mariwithsting

“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.

Stefanowithmedullanecklace

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.

AngiewithMedullaearrings

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.

StefanowithRadugatreebrooch

Mariwithnuggetbrooch

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.

AngiewithBluebrooch

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.

Rabbitsfoot

Angiewithhearttree

Stefanowithradugabuds

Images:
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