Books & Jewels

For this post I’ve chosen another piece of work from an exhibition that I visited, but one of a totally different scale. This work is one of the seven installations of the exhibit Books&Jewels! The work is created by students, the Bachelor students of Sint Lucas in Antwerp.

The object of the students’ assignment was to show how books support a work of art. Of course, books can support art as a source of inspiration, stimulation for the mind, and base for research.
In this case, support was taken quite literally by Octave Vandeweghe who created the work above! It has a big pile of books as a support! The artwork on top consists of a piece of bronze piping used for water supply, and a porcelain spout of a teapot. The artist has a love for collecting things, as some of the books show. Is this how the piece came to life? Out of someone’s personal collection?

Both the books and the work have made my mind wonder. I love the way the object has a special stand made for it, showing how much it is cared for, as the top book “objets affectifs” gives away. Fun how there is a book called “trans plant”, as if the plumming is transplanted onto the spout, making it a ‘surreal thing’, the title of another book. They fit together perfectly to form what looks like a pipe, hence the big fat Magritte-book. “Filosofie van het kijken” (Philosophy of looking) is what I am doing right now! Especially since I’m thinking the ‘pipe’ can actually be used to drink water from. It has that piece of plumming, and spout of a teapot, both closely connected to water. Another book catches my eye, not for its’ title (Conversion to modernism) but by the authors’ name, Naumann. I know Francis M. Naumann is not the same as the, also modernist, artist Bruce Nauman, but he is the one who made the stunning work ‘Self portrait as a fountain’. It all comes down to water, let’s hope these books don’t get wet wet wet!

The exhibition Books&Jewels is running until the 2nd of April at Silke&the gallery in Antwerp, Belgium.

Four of the Masters students of Sint Lucas have started a blog, it is called the power of jewellery.


Golden Fleece ring- update

Today I was really impressed. I saw so much art, of so many disciplines, represented by just about every period in art history! I was not walking around in a museum, these pieces were for sale. Of course my interest was mainly in jewelry, but everywhere I looked there was something worthwhile. To give you an idea of what I found particularly impressive, from last (and this) century art, there were pieces of vintage furniture (Le Corbusier chair with leopard print). And pop-art (felt work by Roy Lichtenstein, wonderful world time watch by Andy Warhol). And plenty of other artworks by Yves Klein, Sol Lewitt, On Kawara, Wim Delvoye, Niki de Saint Phalle.…
Jewelry had lots of faces. Of course diamonds were largely represented, but I also stumbled upon the most amazing collection of historical jewelry, from jewelry of the Roman Empire to the Vikings. For example, did you know the Vikings braided their golden rings?. This went on to vintage Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, that Hollywood stars are now wearing, to great jewels designed by Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co, and even work by Giampaolo Babetto!
Most of the time, I did not know where to look. The constant, irresistible distraction meant that I kept getting lost! And when I finally controlled my urge to drool, I could see the groups of galleries that were formed by the people organising TEFAF. That is short for ‘the European fine art fair’, and this was the 2010 edition, in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Until the 21 of March you can let yourself get impressed, distracted, lost, drooling and more of the above.

There was another reason why I was impressed today. About a year ago I wrote about Giovanni Corvaja’s Golden Fleece Collection, and this beautiful morning I saw it live! From behind their glass door, I first looked at the bracelet paired with the pendant. They seemed so soft! The color of the golden fur surprised me a bit, it had a dark note to it. As a jeweler, it reminded me of golden sawdust, which made the pieces more real to me. The next cabinet contained the brooch, which attracted my attention because of the circular way the golden fur was arranged, ending in a cute little bump. And the ring, with its’ meaning of everything enduring love; was displayed hanging, so none of the tiny golden hairs would get crushed. Like with all the other pieces, they had a direction, copying real fur. I could see the solid ring on the inside, perforated with tiny holes to hold the golden fur threads. It looked flawless to me, perfect on the inside, with a ‘wild’ soft furry coat on the outside. And then, having the aesthetic part covered, I was allowed to touch it! And YES it was soft! Very, very soft! Stroking in the direction of the furry hairs, there was no way to tell where one started or ended. I loved how you could feel that it was still gold, a metal, so a little cold. And also with a slight ‘toughness' that is hard to describe, because it was so extremely soft! With the tactile mystery resolved, there is only one more thing for me to do: wear it!

At Tefaf the work of Giovanni Corvaja is represented by Adrian Sassoon Gallery at exhibitors number 264.


Growing Jewelry

A monstrous headache while being busy with other things on the computer kept me from blogging. The last few weeks it must have seemed like I vanished of the earth… So I decided to write about a jewel that keeps the earth close and, even better, growing. Specially designed for people in metropolitan cities to be in contact with nature.

Basically, product designer Hafsteinn Juliusson enables us to walk around with a beautiful miniature garden. You won’t need a lawn mower for this one, but it does need some basic care. I see it as a great way for the wearer to get in touch with the elements, by making it rain on their hands. The smell coming off the jewel will most likely remind you of long walks in the forest. Those lovely soft mosses sure look inviting to me!