A reflection on exhibiting at Sieraad Art Fair 2014

Article  /  Review
Published: 21.11.2014
A reflection on exhibiting at Sieraad Art Fair 2014.
Inbar Shahak
Edited by:
Edited at:
Kibbutz Maagan Michael

© By the author. Read Copyright.

Jewellery artist and textile designer Inbar Shahak shares her thoughts on participating in Sieraad experiencing different consumer behaviors
1 month, 3 countries, 2 contemporary art jewellery fairs. When you ask jewellery artists if they are able to make a living out of their art, you realize they are mostly working five times harder than any normal regular job to make sure they get to chase all their dreams.

After first participating in JOYA, my next adventure was taking part of Sieraad. Sieraad Art Fair was just as beautiful as it is on the photos, well organized and with beautiful flowers in all the aisles. The fair itself is held in an antique gas factory, a building with an interesting round shape. The way that the stands were organized and built inside almost made me think that there were no bad spot for an exhibition stand. The stands had open corners which made the flow of the visitors very comfortable and easy. And for reference, just to get a corner of the Parisian fashion fairs a designer most departure from at least a three digit euro sum… At Sieraad I met amazingly talented new friends. Sometimes the most important thing about art fairs is the connections you make and the exchange of artistic and business ideas that will help you to move on in your career.

Liisa Hashimoto by her stand

As I arrived to Amsterdam, I spend my half free day before setting up my booth at droog hotel gallery, learning that they make great design by remaking, recycling and using everyday life objects. And it seem like they make sure to have a nice selection of great design in affordable prices.   In some ways I would dare to say that selling designs in Amsterdam is like selling ice to an Eskimo.

I wanted to exhibit at Sieraad because I would like to explore new markets for my designs. I got recommendations from a friend that Sieraad Art Fair is a great exhibition to start making new connections with the Northern countries. I presented my Woodland patina collection. As I am a textile designer by profession and by heart, I take all my inspiration from ancient textile patterns, I draw crochet patterns with a fountain pen and transformed them into etched printing metals. Then I assemble them together for a metal lace cloth. I found the audience in Sieraad very well educated for design and art. Open and curious in new ideas and explanations and really making the efforts to stay for a while and figure out the new ideas that you've been offering them. In some ways it almost felt like being an exhibitor in a museum when the audience stays to read the entire story.
I'm always fascinated about consumer behavior in different countries and nations. For me coming from the Middle East, it was amazing experience to watch how people talk, behave and buy in such different countries as Spain and Holland in one month. In the smallest gestures for example, when an Israeli tells you "I need to think of that" it's our polite way to say "no thank you"… in Amsterdam it only mean that they really do think. They go and come back to try again and make sure they buy the best conceptual art items that fits their needs.

In Israel, the rush speed that we spend our life usually mean that whatever you will see today might not exist by tomorrow, while I experience that in Europe things move in a totally different pace , which actually gives the time to plan ahead. Our food prices in Israel are so high at the moment that you can hardly get away from a supermarket shopping trip on less the 50 euro, which make us spend more money as this is the normal sum that we spend any way to live. People actually live out of their budget with a minus in their banks. And here I am in Europe where two euro can get you the most precious cheese in the supermarket and 20 euro might be enough for a week of food if you carefully spend it. People cannot live with a minus in their banks. And frankly it changes the way that people work, live, buy and appreciate art.

I highly appreciate the opportunity that was given to me to travel and open my mind and my heart to such wonderful people and places that only made me want to work harder and harder to improve my art. There's no doubt I have the best job in the world!

Edith Bellod, Mia Kwon, Isabelle  Busnel & Gabrielle Desmarais

Display of work by Andrea Coderch Valor & Catalina Gibert

Gasholder WesterGasfabriek, photo by Iris Saar Isaacs

About the author

Inbar Shahak studied at the Shenkar University of Fashion in Israel, where she majored in weaving, knitting and printing.  After working in the garment industry for Calvin Klein, the urge to create handmade textile art drove her to establish her own brand of textile jewellery.

Inbar’s greatest passion is to combine ancient textile-making traditions with new modern techniques. Her jewellery collections are drawn by hand and printed over metal at her atelier in the Kibbutz.