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 Lin Cheung, who 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. The same relationship between fragility and the domestic space is reflected in Phoebe Cummings’ ceramic candleholder. 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 first room presents a conversation between bracelets by Bernhard Schobinger and photographs by Annelies Štrba, picturing members of her family in dreamscape scenarios.
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.