In 2-7 November 2011 some of the girls and guys from the 3rd year and I, together with Doris Maninger, went to Amsterdam to visit the Sieraad jewelry fair and the B-Side Festival. Here are some details of our trip.
In the 1st day we arrived in Amsterdam at 8am, so, the first thing we did was to go to the hotel and leave the luggage. Then we walked around the city, admiring the nice streets, canals, the typical architecture, the bicycles and so on.
The 2nd day we all met to rent some bikes and we also met Estela Saez Vilanova. She was our guide through Amsterdam, B-Side festival and some designers’ studios for the next 4 days. We first went to the WesterGasfabriek where the Sieraad fair was located, to prepare the performance.
Then we visited Atelier Ted Noten. When we got there, there were already there some other students from the school from Arnhem. Ted Noten made a presentation for all of us, describing his source of inspiration, his concept, his projects and his studio. For me, being one of the admirers of his work, it was very exciting to be there, to see his studio, to hear the presentation.
The next exciting thing was the visit to Estela Saez Vilanova’s studio. She is a very active jewelry designer, being involved in teaching, organizing jewelry related events, being Ruudt Peters assistant, making exhibitions with her own work and so on. Her studio is a comfortable place, where you can see the research, the storyboard, the tryouts, the works of an artist. Thanks to all her experience, she was able to give us lots of answers about the jewelry designers, galleries and jewelry in Amsterdam.
At about 6pm it was the opening of the Sieraad fair and we had the RED performance, so we went there early to get prepared. The performance was a presentation / introduction of the Alchimia, school of contemporary jewelry in Florence. It consisted of 9 students from the 3rd year (the last year of study) wearing each a red textile toga decorated with the work in progress, the research we all did this year, with a letter from the word “alchimia” painted on the face, walking around and every 5 minutes forming a line that would reveal “Alchimia”. People seemed interested in what we were doing, in what we were wearing.
In the evening, some of us went to the opening of the “Inyanim Group” exhibition. The event it was part of the B-side festival. The “Inyanim Group” (Rory Hooper, Aviv Kniel, Gregory Larin, Tehila Levi, Michal Oren, Kobi Roth, Dana Seachuga, Deganit Stern, Schocken and Edda Vardimon Gudnason).
The 3rd day, in the morning, we went to see an event from the B-side festival: Lelletje. It was a 1 square meter shop that was selling earring made from a variety of artists. In my opinion, the earrings there are more into the arts and crafts category and the presentation was not professional nor was it practical. Then we went to another event from the B-side festival, Collectiv A6 (Noemie Castillo, Alicia Rosselet, Cecile Guenat, Luisa Schwarz, Arnaud Zill and Aurore De Geer), that was well organized, in a proper space. They had a nice project going, a project composed of some parts of necklaces, allowing the visitor to assemble her/his own. Other then this project, they were exhibiting the jewels made by the members of the group, some well made, bold, fresh jewelry.
Our next visit was to Galerie Rob Koudijs. The gallery has an open space, suitable for any kind of displays, not crowded, flexible and with a big enough window so you can see from the outside that there is an exhibition. There was an exhibition called “Where did the night go?” by Alexander Blank. The exhibition consisted on 3 big, irregularly geometrical shaped tables with necklaces. The necklaces were hand carved in foam, white, cartoon like characters. The other exhibition that was on was “Hide n’ Seek” by Melanie Isverding. The way the gallery is organized gives the exhibition and the viewer enough air. On the back wall, there is another area that displays a carefully selected range of contemporary jewelry. Rob Kougijs told us a little bit about the exhibitions and the gallery and them we asked questions. It is a very well organized gallery, with well established goals. Rob Koudijs leaves the impression that he know exactly what and who he want to exhibit, what and how their relationship should be, what he is looking for his clients. The jewelry looks great inside this gallery. The artists selected here are all on the edge in some way, authentic and fresh.
After this we went to see another B-Side exhibition called Meganano, where we sow pieces of jewelry of Lucy Sarneel’s and paintings of Jelle Kampen’s. The space is beautiful so at the beginning I was fascinated by the way the pieces were arranged, and later I discovered the quality of the pieces and the nice details in the jewelry.
In the evening we went to Arnhem, at the MMKA Museum, for the opening of the exhibition “Jewellery Unleashed!”. It was a great event with lots of great pieces of jewelry displayed by certain categories. There was also a performance made by the artist Frederic Braham, that consisted on displaying on a table lots of bottle that had label on and a liquid inside. He was dressed as a chemist, wearing gloves, and he was saying that beauty comes from inside, so you should drink a spoon with one of the liquids. He decided what you should have: gold, emerald, sapphire and so on. In my opinion it was a great performance and very appropriate to have it for this event. Besides having the opportunity to look at the wonderful pieces of jewelry on the walls and displays, we could also admire the equally wonderful pieces of jewelry worn by the people that were present there, that were like a performance itself. Then, there was the party.
In the morning of the day 4 we went to the Central Station Amsterdam to see one of the performances made my the Borax Group. The performance concisted of the members dressed up in jumpsuites made out of a white fabric, with the name of the groupe on the back, each of them wearing a piece of jewelry. They were walking around and every now and then they were forming formations and were standing in different possitions. There was another persone dressed the same, that was handing out flyers and talking to people. Over all it was a good performance, but they were not carefull with all the details.
Then we went to Galerie Louise Smit and we met and talked to Monika Zampa. The galerie is small but coquettish. The exhibition going on there was called “Flora et Lavora” by Doris Betz. The pieces are fascinating to look at, the surfaces are hipnotising and the neckleces, when worn, are really different from when you see them displayed. Monika Zampa talked about the galerie, about the works of Doris Betz and about her own work. They have a large variety of artists exhibitiong there, many of them already well knowen, other at the beginning of their carriars.
Next we went to Galerie Ra where there were the exhibitions of Lisa Walker and Karl Fritsch. The gallery has a concept store fealling, more then a gallery. The Lisa Walker exhibition is the one that really leaves an impresion. The sellection of jewelry on sale is great, and the space is well managed. The displays are packed with jewelry, wich is great and awfull at the same time.
Then we went to Steinbeisser where there was a performance and an exhibition. The performance was called “She decided to buy Flowers by Herself” with Monika Brugger, Marzena Kreminska and Simon Tanguy. The exhibition was an impressive collection of shoes : “10 Years Retrospective of Shoemaker Kei Kagami”. They were lined up on a long two sided bar, the display making them even more spectacular.
I spent day 5 at the Sieraad fair, at the space where Alchimia was presenting the school. This way I had the chance to see peoples reaction to our work, to talk to them and to make miself a general idea about the fair. The Inspirations and Visions section was really the best part. It seemed more like a gallery. The pieces of Jasmin Matzakow were really impresive, mostly because of the way the surface was treated and textured.
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp had a preject that realy cought my atension: it was a series of jewerly all starting from alchimy and gold. The students found smars, simple, yet very good looking ways of making this into jewelry.
The Lost and Found performance made by Rietveld Accademie was one that really cought my attention. It way the kind of performance that involves the viewer in a noninvasive way and it was fun for the participants.
Galerie Ra had a book stand where there was the sighning of the book “On Jewellery, A compendium of international contemporary art jewellery” by Liesbeth den Besten.
In the end it was a great experience and I had a great time with my classmates. Amsterdam is a great city and Sieraad a great jewelry fair.