Review of the Stockholm Art Jewellery Spring 2016

Published: 10.05.2016
Sara Borgegård Sara Borgegård
Sara Borgegård
Edited by:
Edited at:
Edited on:
Open Space, Mind Maps. Positions in Contemporary Jewellery display at Nationalmuseum Stockholm.
Open Space, Mind Maps. Positions in Contemporary Jewellery display at Nationalmuseum Stockholm

© By the author. Read Copyright.

March saw the jewellery scene take centre stage in Stockholm. As part of Nationalmuseum’s Art Jewellery 2016 initiative, contemporary art jewellery was exhibited in around 20 locations across the city. Daily newspapers reviewed the exhibitions, social media feeds were packed with jewellery and art jewellery was very much the talk of the town.
This was a great moment for the jewellery artists who live and work in Sweden. Swedish art jewellery has mainly made a name for itself abroad, but being more active on home turf brings new energy and inspiration for interaction with the public, new opportunities and new discussions.

A field doesn’t exist if it can’t be seen, and in many ways jewellery artists in Sweden have been working on the quiet. Of course there were already certain channels in place and Swedish art jewellery has a high profile internationally, but when these pieces are given pride of place by museums, galleries and private owners all at the same time, it brings the whole field to life. It also encourages a willingness to meet a broader audience, which in turn gives them a way into the field.

Art jewellery features in the daily press occasionally, but there can be years between longer articles. Art jewellery tends to appear on the tips pages for what readers should go and see, as a kind of aside. For Art Jewellery 2016, there were suddenly whole pages and long reviews in the media - both in newspapers and on TV.

Jewellery, not least contemporary art jewellery, is about people and I would say there is good reason to show jewellery in every kind of environment where people spend their time. In the basement of Galleri Platina the jewellery bathed in disco lights that manipulate our eye movements as we encountered new works by Adam Grinovich and Annika Pettersson. Galleri Sebastian Schildt hosted Identity Transfer, a group exhibition on the personal transformation that an individual undergoes when moving willingly or unwillingly across national borders.

Czech artist Janja Prokić’s Jewellery for the Modern Witch was protected by a circle of sage at the Czech Institute, while the Hallwyl Museum carried a temporary exhibition of contemporary art jewellery that might have caught Wilhelmina von Hallwyl’s eye if she had been around today - brilliantly presented and produced by Sanna Svedenstedt Caboo and Karin Roy Andersson. Showing contemporary jewellery in historical settings provides an important link with the history of jewellery, its collection and the importance that jewellery has had for humankind throughout our history.

Identity Transfer at Galleri Sebastian Schildt

Janja Prokic at the Czech centre

Ordinary museum visitors are tempted in by their image of what jewellery is. Encountering this jewellery turns things upside down, allowing new perspectives on jewellery to open up. Nationalmuseum’s exhibition gave a broad picture of the jewellery field. We found perhaps the most dramatic presentation at Millesgården, where Åsa Skogberg had gone so far as to place her jewellery on the human figures in the sculpture park.

In my job as a design educator at Nationalmuseum, I have noticed that many people have been surprised by the look of this jewellery, the materials and techniques used and the sheer scale. On tours of Nationalmuseum’s Open Space - Mind Maps exhibition, I have focused on really inviting the visitors to enter this world, to “grind down the thresholds” and to get people to feel welcome to ask questions and discover more. I have drawn visitors in by exploring their own experiences and understanding of what jewellery is, as well as mixed narratives on the theme of the exhibition, the individual artists, and the character and background of the jewellery field. It was fun to see how the curious visitors often left the exhibition with a new interest and headed off to explore the other exhibitions all over the city. The Art Jewellery 2016 project presented a wealth of opportunities for the public of Stockholm to get to know contemporary art jewellery.

21st century Jewels at Hallwylska Palatset

Åsa Lockner, Body Armor at Livrustkammaren  

About the author

 Sara Borgegård  is a jewellery artist. During Stockholm Art Jewellery, she had a solo exhibition entitled Wall Hollow at Konsthantverkarna. She is currently working at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm as a design educator, in charge of programs relating to Nationalmuseum Design.


© By the author. Read Copyright.