European Prize for Applied Arts 2012

Exhibition  /  13 Jul 2012  -  09 Sep 2012
Published: 25.07.2012
Grande Halle des Anciens Abattoirs

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What are applied arts in the 21st century? What is special about these hybrid disciplines, fruit of both art and technology? The European Prize for Applied Arts 2012 tries to answer this question. Have a look at the award winning work of 2012.

Artist list

Gunilla Maria Akesson, Farrah Al-Dujaili, Nevin Arig, Mika Barr, Marian Bijlenga, Alexander Blank, Frédéric Braham, Iona M C Brown, Daniela Cardillo, Vanessa Cutler, Kim De Ruysscher, Laura Deakin, Valérie Delarue, Katharina Dettar, Patricia Domingues, Karen Donnellan, Gemma Draper, Sam Tho Duong, Beate Eismann, Mieke Everaet, James Faulkner, Sally Fawkes, Maria-Theresa Fernandes, Anne Fischer, Hilde Foks, Beate Gegenwart, Tuva Gonsholt, Christine Graf, Adam Grinovich, Susi Hines, Joe Hogan, Peter Hoogeboom, Jean-Louis Hurlin, Melanie Isverding, Christiana Joeckel, Christer Jonsson, Hannah Joris, Ivan Kanchev Ivanov, Dominique Kaut, Alice Kettle, Ihor Kovalevych, Karen Lise Krabbe, Meiso Lai, Lut Laleman, Andrew Lamb, Agnes Larsson, Claire Lavendhomme, Thérèse Lebrun, Christoph Leuner, Zoe LLoyd, Kadri Mälk, Marie-Agnès Marlair, Catherine Marousez, Hugo Meert, Jette Nevers, Noemi Niederhauser, Monika Patuszynska, Nadabula Pavol Bradovka, Benjamin Planitzer, Paolo Polloniato, Ramon Puig Cuyàs, Liam Reeves, Zoe Robertson, Bruno Romanelli, Mare Saare, Elke Sada, Isabell Schaupp, Helena Schepens, Martin Schlotz, Constanze Schreiber, Hiawatha Seiffert, Maya Selway, Vittorio Serio, Bettina Speckner, Antonino Spoto, Diana Stegmann, Terhi Tolvanen, Barbara Uderzo, Flora Vagi, Anna Helena Van De Pol de Deus, Felieke Van Der Leest, Hanneke Van Hage, Koen Vanderstukken, Tanel Veenre, Annamaria Zanella, Jeff Zimmer
What are applied arts in the 21st century? What is special about these hybrid disciplines, fruit of both art and technology? Craft is inherent to the applied arts and the concepts are often used interchangeably: craft = applied art. But when you analyse both concepts - craft and applied art - more closely, it becomes clear that the one (craft) can lead to the other (applied art), and that the other (applied art) cannot exist without the one (craft). Put more simply: an applied art cannot exist that does not come from a craft, which is traditionally split up by material and how to work it, but craft and craftsmanship are much more widely usable than in just the applied arts.

So where does the applied arts place themselves? The European Prize for Applied Arts 2012 tries to answer this question. Beyond a simple presentation of pieces of artwork, this second Triennial of Applied Arts shows us the fusion of concepts and material through the dialogue that takes place between the thought, the feelings and the hand. This hand translates thought and tames knowledge in order to understand and translate man’s relationship with the world and with the daily things.

Be they contemporary expressive arts, utilitarian arts, applied arts, industrial arts, or simply utilitarian objects, the creations of the 86 exhibitors selected for this exhibition bring down the borders between categories, and demonstrate the variety of the forms and artistic means that are used and subjected to the artists’ aptitudes. They bring together in a coherent corpus works from the areas of design, jewellery (goldsmithing and work with gems), textile, ceramics, pottery, glass working, cabinet-making, paper, book binding, stained glass craft etc. The objects that are presented illustrate the balance between the function and the plastic accuracy of objects
in our everyday lives. They attract our attention and keep it focussed on our day-to-day activities, and lead us to think about their necessity and use. But above all, they invite us to think about the meaning of materiality, of materialism and about their incidence in our daily lives. They put our intimate experience of freedom to the test.

There are no geographical boundaries for craft skills and processes. The action of making, and the outcome of a crafted object, connects cultures, communities, and generations. Handmade objects have a story. They have been touched, manipulated, hammered, thrown, blown, and carved by another human hand. They connect us both to our past, and crucially for this exhibition, they connect us to the present. But right now, while craft and DIY are so noticeably in the limelight and while social movements can be mobilised via handcrafting, unknown chances could be waiting in the wings. The European Prize for Applied Arts could play a role here, directing instead of following, and stimulating by beating new paths.

The number of applications for the 2012 edition shows that the European Prize for Applied Arts has already come a long way in establishing itself as an important event for contemporary craft (or applied or decorative arts) in Europe. This year 550 applications were made from 33 countries.
The selection of the final 86 exhibitors (an unenviable yet hopefully enjoyable task for the jury) will all show their work in the stunning Anciens Abattoirs space at Mons. The exhibition will give the public a glimpse into what contemporary crafts looks like across Europe in 2012.


Amongst the exhibits of 2012 an international jury of experts awarded prizes to two participants at the private view on 13th July.
Winner of The Master Prize of 3,500 Euros donated by the Federation Wallonia Brussels is Jean-Louis Hurlin (France). "Jean-Louis Hurlin's work is, on one level, very simple and yet each piece has a poetic silence and intensity to it. The maker uses the traditional technique of damas steel in a very contemporary way."

Winner of The Young Talent Prize of 3,000 Euros donated by WCC-Europe is Flora Vagi. "Flora Vagi builds and layers her work using various materials (wood, recycled books, …) and processes to create what appears to be fragile yet robust objects."

Special commendation of the jury: Bruno Romanelli (United Kingdom). "Like ancient objects frozen in ice, Romanelli's works, beautifully and subtly reveal the inner form through the exterior shape."

Organised by WCC-BF, in partnership with the City of Mons and WCC-Europe.
With the support of the Plastic Arts Department of the Federation Wallonia Brussels and Design Vlaanderen
Jean-Louis Hurlin. Piece: 615cm² de damas, 2012. ø 28 cm. The winner of the Masters Prize – Prize of the Federation Wallonia Brussels 2012. Photo: Olivier Dancy. Jean-Louis Hurlin
Piece: 615cm² de damas, 2012
ø 28 cm
The winner of the Masters Prize – Prize of the Federation Wallonia Brussels 2012
Photo: Olivier Dancy
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Flora Vagi. Brooch: Lightpink, 2010. Oak, cold enamel, silver. 8x5 cm. Young Talents Prize – Prize of the World Crafts Council-Europe 2012. Photo: Flora Vagi. Flora Vagi
Brooch: Lightpink, 2010
Oak, cold enamel, silver
8x5 cm
Young Talents Prize – Prize of the World Crafts Council-Europe 2012
Photo: Flora Vagi
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Buno Romanelli. Piece: Ankaa, 2011. Lost wax cast glass, yellow core. 32x32x5 cm. Special commendation of the jury. Photo: Robert Hall. Buno Romanelli
Piece: Ankaa, 2011
Lost wax cast glass, yellow core
32x32x5 cm
Special commendation of the jury
Photo: Robert Hall
© By the author. Read Copyright.