Hochschule Trier. Degree Show 2020

Exhibition  /  OnlineOnly   EmergingValues  /  23 Jul 2020  -  23 Aug 2020
Published: 23.07.2020

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IO&U is a group of contemporary jewellery and gemstone artists from the University of Trier in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. 12 female emerging artists from 9 countries have come together to showcase their graduate collections.

Artist list

Margherita Berselli, Annie Huang, Samantha Laddin, Franziska Lusser, Sayara Montemurro, Barbora Opátová, Annora Poppe, Setareh Shojaee, Jekaterina Smirnova, Anna Storck, Pei Wu, Vanessa Zöller
We open our world to you to share our stories. Our works differ visually and conceptually as each artist pushes the boundaries of contemporary jewellery with handmade pieces unique to the artist. While we come from different cultures, our paths have crossed in IO. As a result, we have developed as artists alongside each other in camaraderie. 

Margherita Berselli considers the artistic gesture as a sign, a fold, able to interact with the space surround and generate a new rhythm. From her point of view, this artistic gesture is not ending in the physical action on the material, but it's able to move itself to the audience, as a resonance, as a wave. Her final collection is titled "Score". The Score represents for her a space where series of signs are taking place. Score is a group of structured signs on a surface, their specific positions determine the space surround and are able to reveal a new rhythm. Her final collection is a group of pieces made mainly in tourmaline and rutile quartz, where the characteristics of this specific material becomes the happening of its connection to the body. Extensions, lines projections, empty spaces and divisions, all these elements are activated in her pieces, trying to explore the relation between the stone-matter and the body.

Annie Huang is a South African-Taiwanese jewellery artist. Coming from a multi-cultural background, she is fascinated by people, culture and art. Drawing inspiration from the history of the female figure in art, she uses the curves and lines of the body and transfers it to a block of wood. The intricate pathways that go in and out of the red or black wood produces a biomorphic sculpture that resembles a growing organism. The organism grows through the nook and crannies to gently sit against the skin. It crawls up towards the neck, droops down off the ears or just protrudes off a piece of clothing. Although the pieces are celebrations of the female figure, they are often formed with two contrasting elements; the positive and negative or the masculine and feminine. Two energies that need to be balanced to coexist in an individual as well as with others.

Samantha Laddin is a jewelry artist and maker who seeks to understand human’s relationship with nature through her art practice, material exploration, and research. How she views this relationship can be conveyed in wearable forms that merge with the body to express the profound influence humans have on nature. She believes to combine natural and industrial materials together is to symbolically unify our ancient and modern selves. How these materials are manipulated and unify with the body express their own story. Establishing a consistent making practice allows Samantha to better understand the path of incremental change, steadily impacting what may or may not be able to be seen or felt with our hands or body. The slow progression of how change occurs within ourselves is comparable to how material can transform over time, whether through gradual organic decay or an impactful force. Time is made visible through the maker’s hands in forming the material. If trust connects us to our origins, then there must exist an unspoken agreement of mutual understanding in our shared human nature.

Jekaterina Smirnovas work has a unique authenticity and sensibility. By combining different materials, she succeeds in finding unity in a variety of forms. She is interested in how interaction leads to transformation, how sensibility affects the quality of contact, which lead to synergistic effects. She expresses her ideas through the transformation of the reconstructed stone. Today this material is especially relevant, because humankind seeks to fill the entire world with traces of us. Even the word "natural" can lose its primary meaning in the future. More than any other material, this material can emphasize and give deeper meaning to works about modern ecology and nature. 

Franziska Lusser
Illusion, imitation and perception​. How do we find a value within objects that have been made to trick our perception of preciousness?
My intention is to encourage people to question and discuss their views and preconceptions towards materials through a clever use of illusion and material imitation. When presented with two different materials with similar properties, how can we decide which is the precious one and which is not? And with the clever application of colour that is conceiled within and being reflected through the pieces, how can we trust that what we are seeing is really there? In my jewellery pieces, the perception of value is split into the materials value and the value that is projected onto the piece by the viewer from the intrigue it sparks. This intrigue is what I aim for in my pieces. I want the viewer to question the materials authenticity and how the illusion of colour is achieved.

Sayara Montemurro
My work is born from the profound observation of behaviors and movements of the human body. I am searching for what is hidden in the depths of human emotions rather than the superficial. The human body releases impulses, voluntary or involuntary toward surroundings which can be turned into signals. I see these signals everywhere and transform them into material.
I create jewellery as a shield. My pieces are as individual as humans, they can be a protective barrier, which bears light and deep wounds from personal experiences. I use rock crystal as a symbol of protection. Human beings are connected and similar to this stone because we both have inclusions and a hard, yet fragile structure. The transparency of the rock crystal represents our stability and consequently, the inclusions our fragility due to our emotions.

Annora Poppe 
During my bachelor’s study, I discovered that I get my inspiration from nature, but not just nature alone. It is also the nature on the farm where I grew up. Growing up in the Noordoostpolder, I was never really aware of the influence that the polder landscape and its surroundings have had on me. The wide areas of the landscape on the former seabed was carefully planned, drawn and manufactured with the highest precision. The landscape with its straight and clear lines has bountiful colours in spring and deep greys in winter. It is also a landscape created with machines by human hand. It has a surrounding where culture and nature connect with each other. The polder- where the machines and tractors leave their traces and where nature can continue on her own way. Working with nature and with respect for her strength, power and beauty, it can be seen in my choice of and dealing with the material. My pieces reflect the mechanical and practical use of machines that maintain the strength and purity of the materials.

Barbora Opátová 
I call my jewellery “clouds”. Strange, abstract shapes high in the sky depict their monumentality and lightness. It contrasts between light and shadow, it changes from a romantic sunrise to a grey, angry thunderstorm. Abstraction in shapes which brings our imagination alive. They might be anything and everything. Sometimes, they show more of their personality, sometimes, they stay hidden. I'm looking for animals floating silently and connect them to our personal stories, memories, emotions and feelings. Are they all hidden inside, or are we the ones who hide them? I'm looking for magic everywhere. Bringing the fog and the mystery to daily life. Is it possible to believe what we see is really there? Are we making it all up or is it just a trick played by life? The cloud kingdom is everywhere around us and makes up everything unbelievable and real at the same time.​

Setareh Shojaee
In my work, I bring together the Topic,’living Space’ or in German, gelebter Raum’, with the Inside and Outside. The Stone acts as acontainer for something to comes from the inside of the Stones to the Outside. The Body related forms and its sharp Colors bear Witness to the relationship between me and my living Space in my daily life. I find myself often in new Spaces that changes my inside World. Throught the Understanding of my inner-self am i able to enjoy outside World.

Anna Storck
Connections: physically, rationally, or emotionally. Creating stories, developing biographies through moments, memories, dreams. Becoming protections, covers and masks. Experiencing strength and fear, failure and hope, tension and peace. Whatever one may see. It doesn't matter - but it does! the title of my latest series of work. It refers to how jewellery is of no survival necessity to humans and yet has accompanied us through all times to this day for countless reasons.

Pei Wu
The starting point is usually her own personal story; through collecting more relevant stories and going as deep as possible to reach the source, she tries to bring her story to a social level, to tell it in a way that could resonate with the public. The emotion she expresses shapes the material, mainly stone, into its specific form. The quietness in her work is from a frozen moment of an action, a movement. People often find her work soft and gentle in the beginning, until the tension and weight settles in. The tension and the contradiction are crucial to her graduation project, ‘Parent, Past Life, Teddy Bear.’ The soft touch of the material with its oppressive form; the stone is hard but also warm and the “adorable” appearance hides a touch of insecurity. The combination of all senses reflects the state of mind beneath her story.

Vanessa Zöller
My work exists in the field of objects, installation and jewellery.
I ask questions about human nature, about values, about the process of life.
In my work I use human hair to translate these questions into a material existence.
Hair: valuable, shameful, repulsive?
I challenge declarations by using hair that I collected from dozens of individuals, mostly women.
I convert the hair, combine it with ”precious” materials, put it into a new context, revalue it.
In my work the hair gets an independent identity. The material becomes the protagonist of my work.

Guiding Tutors: Theo Smeets, Ute Eitzenhöfer, Eva Maria Kollischan, Susanne Bennewitz, Tanja Falkenhayner.

>>More information on the BFA and MFA in Gemstones and Jewellery.
Margherita Berselli. Brooch: Underscore, 2020. Turmalined quartz, silver, stainless steel.. 6 x 2.5 x 8 cm. Photo by: Margherita Berselli. From series: Rhythmical Score. MFA
. Supervisors: Ute Eitzenhöfer, Eva-Maria Kollischan. Margherita Berselli
Brooch: Underscore, 2020
Turmalined quartz, silver, stainless steel.
6 x 2.5 x 8 cm
Photo by: Margherita Berselli
From series: Rhythmical Score

Supervisors: Ute Eitzenhöfer, Eva-Maria Kollischan

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Annie Huang. Necklace: The Figure Unfolded, 2020. Padauk, bloodwood, silver.. 40 x 17.8 x 3.2 cm. Photo by: Annie Huang. MFA
. Supervisors: Prof. Ute Eitzenhöfer, Eva-Maria Kollischan. Annie Huang
Necklace: The Figure Unfolded, 2020
Padauk, bloodwood, silver.
40 x 17.8 x 3.2 cm
Photo by: Annie Huang

Supervisors: Prof. Ute Eitzenhöfer, Eva-Maria Kollischan

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Samantha Laddin. Neckpiece: The Rewind, 2019. Wood, rubber.. 40 x 25 x 3 cm. Photo by: Benjamin Fischer. MFA
. Supervisors: Eva Maria-Kollischan. Samantha Laddin
Neckpiece: The Rewind, 2019
Wood, rubber.
40 x 25 x 3 cm
Photo by: Benjamin Fischer

Supervisors: Eva Maria-Kollischan

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Franziska Lusser. Earrings: Radiant Illusion, 2019. Perspex, shellac, silver. . 1.7 x 1 x 2.5 cm. Photo by: Jekaterina Smirnova. MFA
. Supervisors: Theo Smeets & Ute Eitzenhöfer. Franziska Lusser
Earrings: Radiant Illusion, 2019
Perspex, shellac, silver. 
1.7 x 1 x 2.5 cm
Photo by: Jekaterina Smirnova

Supervisors: Theo Smeets & Ute Eitzenhöfer

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Sayara Montemurro. Brooch: Shield, 2020. Rock crystal, white gold, silver. . Photo by: Sayara Montemurro. BFA
. Supervisors: Theo Smeets, Eva-Maria Kollischan. Sayara Montemurro
Brooch: Shield, 2020
Rock crystal, white gold, silver. 
Photo by: Sayara Montemurro

Supervisors: Theo Smeets, Eva-Maria Kollischan

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Barbora Opátová. Neckpiece: Slog, 2019. Plastic, silicone, hair, wool, marble, threads, nylon, silver, steel, acrylic resin, wood.. Photo by: Barbora Opátová. MFA. Barbora Opátová
Neckpiece: Slog, 2019
Plastic, silicone, hair, wool, marble, threads, nylon, silver, steel, acrylic resin, wood.
Photo by: Barbora Opátová


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Annora Poppe. Necklace: Untitled, 2020. Green jasper, rock crystal, 585 red gold, cotton.. 5.5 x 3 x 42 cm. Photo by: Jekaterina Smirnova. BFA
. Supervisors: Ute Eitzenhöfer, Doreen Timmers. Annora Poppe
Necklace: Untitled, 2020
Green jasper, rock crystal, 585 red gold, cotton.
5.5 x 3 x 42 cm
Photo by: Jekaterina Smirnova

Supervisors: Ute Eitzenhöfer, Doreen Timmers

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Jekaterina Smirnova. Necklace: Myth III. Faust is being forgiven, 2019. Reconstructed Stone, 9ct gold, horse hairs. . 8.2 x 4.2 x 2.1 cm. Photo by: Jekaterina Smirnova. From series: Time of Myths. MFA
. Supervisors: Susanne Bennewitz. Jekaterina Smirnova
Necklace: Myth III. Faust is being forgiven, 2019
Reconstructed Stone, 9ct gold, horse hairs. 
8.2 x 4.2 x 2.1 cm
Photo by: Jekaterina Smirnova
From series: Time of Myths

Supervisors: Susanne Bennewitz

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Setareh Shojaee. Necklace: Untitled, 2020. Sodalite,textile. . 20 x 7 x 35 cm. Photo by: Nima Ashrafi. BFA
. Supervisors: Ute Eitzenhofer, Tanja Falkenhayner. Setareh Shojaee
Necklace: Untitled, 2020
20 x 7 x 35 cm
Photo by: Nima Ashrafi

Supervisors: Ute Eitzenhofer, Tanja Falkenhayner

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Anna Storck. Hand Piece: Essenz I, 2020. Rock crystal. 5.5 x 5.7 x 1.6 cm. Photo by: Anna Storck. MFA
. Supervisors: Ute Eitzenhöfer. Anna Storck
Hand Piece: Essenz I, 2020
Rock crystal
5.5 x 5.7 x 1.6 cm
Photo by: Anna Storck

Supervisors: Ute Eitzenhöfer

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Pei Wu. Brooch: Am I bad kid?, 2020. Rhodochrosite, silver, steel wire.. 6 x 5.5 x 2.5 cm. Photo by: Pei Wu. From series: Parent, Past Life, Teddy Bear. MFA
. Supervisors: Theo Smeets, Ute Eitzenhöfer. Pei Wu
Brooch: Am I bad kid?, 2020
Rhodochrosite, silver, steel wire.
6 x 5.5 x 2.5 cm
Photo by: Pei Wu
From series: Parent, Past Life, Teddy Bear

Supervisors: Theo Smeets, Ute Eitzenhöfer

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Vanessa Zöller. Brooch: blossom, 2020. Sheep wool, human hair, beads from used rosaries, silver, steel.. 5 x 8 x 5 cm, 4 x 8 x 4 cm. Photo by: Vanessa Zöller. MFA
. Supervisors: Eva-Maria Kollischan, Ute Eitzenhöfer. Vanessa Zöller
Brooch: blossom, 2020
Sheep wool, human hair, beads from used rosaries, silver, steel.
5 x 8 x 5 cm, 4 x 8 x 4 cm
Photo by: Vanessa Zöller

Supervisors: Eva-Maria Kollischan, Ute Eitzenhöfer

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