Legnica International Jewellery Competition 2024 Award

Award  /  10 May 2024
Published: 11.10.2023
Iris Hummer. Ring: How do you adorn yourself with words?, 2022. Sterling silver, gold. 7.6 x 5.2 x 5.2 cm. Awarded at: Legnica International Jewellery Competition 2023  Award. II Award of The Minister of culture and National heritage + 1 kg of silver founded by KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.. Iris Hummer
Ring: How do you adorn yourself with words?, 2022
Sterling silver, gold
7.6 x 5.2 x 5.2 cm
Awarded at: Legnica International Jewellery Competition 2023 Award
II Award of The Minister of culture and National heritage + 1 kg of silver founded by KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.
© By the author. Read Copyright.

The competition has been organized by the Gallery of Art in Legnica since 1979 (initially as the National Review of the Goldsmiths Forms). It is one of the oldest initiatives to promote contemporary artistic jewellery in Europe, supporting creative explorations within a niche field at the intersection of art, craft and design.
EMPATHY became the next theme of the 32. International Jewellery Competition, the main event of the Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER 2024.

Artists from all over the world, goldsmiths, designers, professional and amateur jewellery makers are invited to participate in the event. Each year the competition is held under a different title referring to important, universal problems and issues from the spheres of broadly understood art, culture, sociology or media. This time the theme becomes EMPATHY. The competition is artistic in nature, and the organizers leave artists full freedom of choice of techniques and materials.
Each year, nearly 200 artists from about 30 countries around the world apply to participate in the event. The distribution of awards and the qualification of works for the exhibition is decided by an international jury consisting of renowned artists, professors, critics, experts and jewellery collectors. The works rejected by the jury are traditionally presented during the Festival in the Old City Hall, so that the audience has the opportunity to compare their own opinions with the jury's verdict.
Participation in the competition is free – participants only cover the cost of shipping and returning the works.

>> Terms & Regulations

Post-competition exhibition will be presented in the frame of the Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER in the Gallery of Art in Legnica from April to June 2024.
>> The culmination of the Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER and the announcement of the winners will take place on May 10-11, 2024.

Jewellery – an object belonging to the set of non-essential objects - if it appears in the field of vision, it inevitably absorbs attention, forces observation, interpretation, contemplation. It is selfish. Or at least it is often so.
Meanwhile, contemporary designers (of all kinds) constantly emphasise the need for sustainable design, the necessity to redirect attention to the understanding of user's needs, expectations and nostalgia, the perspective of user's experience, the criteria of indispensability, social and ecological responsibility.
These contradictory perspectives (historical and current) intersect quite rarely, but it is exactly in this common area that solutions are likely to emerge; solutions that we not only notice but also remember.
Jewellery – an object that sends a message difficult to miss – can also be, in a special way, a generator of dialogue, focus, attention, concentration, empathy.
Not an easy assumption in the age when superficial impulses, intense visual stimuli and stylistic excesses supported by increasingly sophisticated AI algorithms abound.
Feel welcome to creatively reflect on the function, essence and meaning of contemporary jewellery from the non-egoistic perspective of an artist who understands the needs of a demanding audience.

/ Prof. Sławomir Fijałkowski

Empathy is that unique sensitivity and openness to the world that underlies artistic creativity. It is the care that the artist, the creator, the designer directs towards their work, their creation, the object, the being that s/he brings to the world. It is also their forbearance towards the audience, defined as the world external to the object itself and the environment in which it will live its own life. It is, finally, the "readiness for", the trust and understanding that the viewer bestows on the author and their work.
Production, merchandise and shopping become personalised. This brings designer jewellery closer to the status of a work of art – a unique object-subject, a medium that, unlike the effects of mass production, is unique, one-of-a-kind in the whole world. Medium that is perceived by original and unique individuals, each of whom constitutes a unique combination of genes, neurons, cells, bacterial flora, chromosomes, hormones, personality traits and emotions, as well as ways of internalising the world – the result of individual experiences and circumstances.
Art without empathy is not art but production. A creator (or rather manufacturer) devoid of it is only an egoist or a madman. A non-empathic addressee will not become an open viewer. Each message and each reception will become a separate story, provided they exist in an empathetic universe.  
Do we understand jewellery? Do jewellery and its makers feel understood? What and on what topic would they like to tell us, how would they speak to us by giving us a work of art, a product, often a commodity? What would they like to tell us with their jewellery? What can we learn from it and about it?

/ Justyna Teodorczyk, PhD