From Jewellery to Contextual Art by Elisabeth Holder

Exhibition  /  21 Apr 2024  -  25 Aug 2024
Published: 25.04.2024
From Jewellery to Contextual Art by Elisabeth Holder.
Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedekunst
Christianne Weber-Stöber
Christianne Weber-Stöber
Elisabeth Holder. Object: Himmelsfalle, 2008. MIrror. 20 x 20 x 20 cm. Photo by: Elisabeth Holder. Elisabeth Holder
Object: Himmelsfalle, 2008
20 x 20 x 20 cm
Photo by: Elisabeth Holder
© By the author. Read Copyright.

It may be of little or no interest to most wearers of jewellery whether a piece can exist as an independent object when it is no longer worn on the body. For me as a jewellery designer, however, it is of great importance.
Every piece of jewellery I make is therefore also an attempt to create an appropriate balance between these two criteria. For me, a piece is only complete when it passes as jewellery and object.

/ Elisabeth Holder

Artist list

Elisabeth Holder
The exhibition shows the work of Düsseldorf professor Elisabeth Holder and illustrates her artistic development from her beginnings to the present day.
Elisabeth Holder trained as a goldsmith in Pforzheim and at the Drawing Academy Hanau. She then went to study at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and the Royal College of Art in London in the 1970s. After graduation, she worked as a freelance goldsmith in the British capital until 1988, devoting herself to designing jewellery as objects.

When she accepted a professorship for jewellery design in the Department of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, the focus shifted to teaching and research. In addition to educating numerous generations of jewellery designers, she began to develop her own research questions. These were prompted by trips to Neolithic sites in the British Isles, Brittany, Ireland and Germany. She investigated jewellery in relation to ancient symbols and the ornament that had developed from them. Furthermore, she explored a wide variety of materials used in jewellery design in the field of tension between mastery and dialogue.

From 2005 onwards, she devoted herself specifically to the conditions for jewellery, which led her to a generalised concept of jewellery: jewellery as contextual art.
Her site-specific works for the outdoor space of the historic town hall created for the exhibition at the Goldsmiths’ House have to be considered in this line of thought.

The solo exhibition of Elisabeth Holder's work is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the Düsseldorf professor's world of ideas. The wide-ranging field of her creations shows the power and artistic innovation inherent in jewellery.
/ Malte Guttek, director of the German Goldsmiths‘ House.

The exhibition runs until 25 August 2024.