Connecting Value. Exploring co-creation through making

Exhibition  /  17 May 2021  -  04 Jun 2021
Published: 30.04.2021

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As part of its Camden Alive programme Camden Council together with K2 Academy of Contemporary Jewellery and Camden resident artists are delighted to announce the opening of The Gallery at Swiss Cottage Library on 17 May 2021 with the exhibition Connecting Values: exploring co-creation through making. *

Artist list

Kelvin Birk, Karolina Brodnicka, Maureen Klingels-Pruss, Silvija Labokaite, Caroline Palmer, Sandra Rattenni, Nina Saeidi, Katharine Scott, Katrin Spranger, Cat Tuohy
Connecting Values is an exhibition of jewellery, sculpture, and film by practising artists and K2 Academy of Contemporary Jewellery tutors Katrin Spranger and Kelvin J. Birk shown alongside items created by and with Camden residents during a series of Camden Alive workshops that took place in 2019.

Connecting Values displays artworks that have at their heart a collaborative process. Each communicates a journey in jewellery making, expressing something to its intended wearer, whether personal, political, or conceptual; a message chosen to be displayed, used, worn, celebrated and valued. Camden residents learned about the jewellery making and sculptural techniques used by Katrin and Kelvin in their work during a series of workshops between 2019 and 2020. Each created an individual piece of jewellery and then co-created a larger piece led by either Katrin or Kelvin.

Katrin Spranger is an activist and multi-disciplinary artist working with sculpture, jewellery and performance. She creates dystopian narratives that engage with the environment, consumer culture, science fiction and natural resources threatened with depletion. Objects from her Best Before and Aquatopia works will be on display as well as newer works titled Somber which reflect on experiences of the extraordinary events of the last 12 months.

Kelvin J. Birk works with smashed precious gems reconstructed onto precious metal structures to create rings and other jewellery. His work embraces destruction, loss and chaos, reordering materials into new and evolved forms that offer different and challenging interpretations of fine art jewellery. Works on display will include rings and brooches from his Claw, Crushed and Bee ranges.

Connecting Values introduces work by Camden resident artists emerging from 2019's borough wide arts initiative Camden Alive: Silvija Labokaite, Maureen Klingels-Pruss, Karolina Brodnicka, Nina Saeidi, Cat Tuohy, Caroline Palmer, Sandra Rattenni and Katharine Scott. On display will be the individual jewellery pieces made during workshop sessions with Katrin and Kelvin at K2 Academy of Contemporary Jewellery. Each ‘value-object’, some of which were made into rings or brooches, will be displayed alongside the story that accompanies it. Highly personal, these often reveal more intangible values, such as memories of people who have passed and places that are far away, or things that may be out of reach in our everyday lives.

The Aquatopia Water Fountain is an artwork co-created by Katrin Spranger and Camden residents in 2020. Taking form as a large drinking vessel held in a large steel framework and reminiscent of an old milking parlour jar, it was developed as a continuation of Spranger’s dialogue with the scarcity of clean water. The fountain brings this issue into local focus, referencing the provision of clean water in the public realm of the borough. Its co-creative nature also serves to highlight the dialogue between personal experience and larger environmental issues. The fountain is embellished with elements worked by Camden residents which are electro-formed objects of value. Their presence links personal experience with our basic needs for survival, and so sets up a conversation between the way we live our lives and climate crisis. A specially commissioned film showing the water fountain in action will accompany the display.

Tell Tale, co-created by Kelvin J Birk and Camden residents, is a large and talismanic-like neckpiece that combines individual objects encrusted with smashed gems held within and linked by a worked silver structure reminiscent of a daisy chain. The neckpiece brings together stories, each enclosed in their jewelled cases. The stories ask us about what we value most, how society perceives value, and how we deal with the fear or loss of losing things that we value. It highlights how our individual experiences can be brought together, at once distinct but also shared.

Councillor Anna Wright, Cabinet Member for Promoting Neighbourhoods and Communities, Camden Council said:
We are really pleased to be re-opening Swiss Cottage Gallery again with this exhibition. The artwork that has been made for this exhibition, through the Camden Alive project, highlights the huge creativity of Camden’s residents and artists and the impact coming together to share skills and stories makes on our lives. The borough will be seeing many more creative opportunities for participants and visitors in the coming months, celebrating our diverse creative communities, places and organisations. Camden is open!

Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm, Friday and Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday: Closed.

* The Gallery reopening date is subject to the government entering stage 3 of its roadmap to lifting Covid-19 restrictions on accessing indoor venues.
Kelvin Birk. Neckpiece: Tell Tale, 2020. Silver, semi-precious stones, value objects.. Photo by: Emily Morgan. Created with Camden residents. . Kelvin Birk
Neckpiece: Tell Tale, 2020
Silver, semi-precious stones, value objects.
Photo by: Emily Morgan
Created with Camden residents.

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Karolina Brodnicka. Ring: Faith, 2020. Semi-precious stones, value-object.. Photo by: Emily Morgan. Karolina Brodnicka
Ring: Faith, 2020
Semi-precious stones, value-object.
Photo by: Emily Morgan
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Nina Saeidi. Ring: First Refuge, 2020. Semi-precious stones, value object.. Photo by: Emily Morgan. Nina Saeidi
Ring: First Refuge, 2020
Semi-precious stones, value object.
Photo by: Emily Morgan
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The Aquatopia Water Fountain, 2020, Katrin Spranger with Camden residents.
. Glass, copper, steel, various organic materials including bones, plants. Photos by: Mark Buchanan..
The Aquatopia Water Fountain, 2020, Katrin Spranger with Camden residents.
Glass, copper, steel, various organic materials including bones, plants. Photos by: Mark Buchanan.

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