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New Traditional Jewellery: True Colours

Exhibition  /  19 Feb 2011  -  29 May 2011
Published: 18.02.2011
Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem
Auk Russchen. Brooch: Ode, 2010. Mixed media. Auk Russchen
Brooch: Ode, 2010
Mixed media
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Both meanings of the theme ‘True Colours’ were explored in the more than 300 contributions to this competition. The participants represented 34 countries. In choosing the winners, the jury has strived to show the wide variety of the different approaches to the theme.
New Traditional Jewellery is a biannual international design competition in the field of contemporary jewellery. Historical or ethnographical carriers of meaning are taken as an incentive to generate new forms. In addition to this general framework there is also a specific theme. After
traditional costume, faith and intimacy, this year’s theme is ‘True Colours’. Literally this refers to colour, for example in relation to materials and pigments. Throughout the ages colours and materials, such as gold and silver, often determined the meaning and value of pieces of jewellery. In the 1970’s and ‘80s other materials, such as textiles and Perspex, were also used.
As a result there emerged a new ‘language of colours’. This was an important step in the emancipation of contemporary jewellery. Therefore, ‘True Colours’ is about the history, meaning, value, magic and power of colour.
Figuratively speaking, ‘True Colours’ could also mean “showing your true colours” or ‘to unveil your true self’. In this sense the theme could be approached from a social point of view, in which today’s multicoloured society is the main focus of attention. Colour contains information about status and social position. Colour can shout, curse, emancipate, help, judge and segregate.
Colours is a statement.
Both meanings of the theme ‘True Colours’ were explored in the more than 300 contributions to this competition. The participants represented 34 countries. In choosing the winners, the jury has strived to show the wide variety of the different approaches to the theme.

Remarks

The winners:

The multi‐coloured Urban Tribal Necklace of Amanda Caines (1961) from Great Britain fits the theme of the contest perfectly. She has taken a good look at the necklaces of coloured beads worn by the Zulus where the necklace is a means of communication and the colours stand for a code that tells something about the age group and social status of the wearer. To make her contemporary version Caines uses rejected telephone and computer wires made of plastic in bright colours ‐ she winds wool around them, fastens vintage fabrics to them and subsequently decorates them with beads.

The brooch Ode by Auk Russchen (1971) was discussed extensively by the jury and became the surprising winner. To Russchen True Colours means who you are deep inside. Showing your inside to the world. Her unusual choice of material agrees with this. Using thinly cut strips of goatskin she crochets an organic form reminiscent of intestines. The tips are of pink yarn and resemble socks. The raw, almost grubby colour of the goatskin makes the small pink details stand out. She arrived at the colour pink after reading an article about primordial man using pink coloured fibres to decorate clothing as long as 35,000 years ago. Her brooch is an ode to her and our distant ancestors.

The necklace Link by Tove Rygg (1963) from Norway does not catch the eye because of its distinct, but rather its very subtle use of colour. During a labour‐intensive process she crochets long cords of gold, silver and high‐grade steel. She adds small precious stones and plaits the cords into one long chain, based on old chains of the Vikings. The various stones, haematite, smoky quartz, agate and peridote, are symbolic of the various aspects of the Norwegian landscape, such as lakes, fjords and forests. The blood agate is a personal reference to her own blood and her personal relationship with her native country Norway.

The jury was pleasantly impressed by this year’s powerful entries of the students, with surprising and original designs. The prizes for the students were awarded to Penka Arabova (1980) from Bulgaria and Serin Oh from Korea.

Penka Arabova’s green brooch was inspired by an old Bulgarian tradition where red and white cotton threads tied together are worn as pendants, brooches or bracelets. The colour red of these so‐called Martenizas is symbolic of youth and the colour white for age, and wearing them brings health and happiness. For her brooch Arabova has used different colours and materials which she associates with the old tradition in her native country and in doing so created her own modern guardian against illness and misfortune.

At first sight Serin Oh’s ring looks like a bronze nugget, coloured black, mounted on a classic ring. But upon closer inspection all kinds of jewellery and parts thereof can be distinguished, among which precious stones and a small angel, which have fused together. It is a reference to the costume jewellery that is sold in the shopping centres of Korea, mass‐produced and no longer bearing any relationship to the history of Korea. Serin Oh pictures the confusion and identity crisis of modern Korea by fusing these trinkets to a whole.
Amanda Caines. Necklace: Urban Tribal, 2010. Mixed media. Amanda Caines
Necklace: Urban Tribal, 2010
Mixed media
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Tove Rygg. Necklace: Link, 2010. Mixed media. Tove Rygg
Necklace: Link, 2010
Mixed media
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Penka Arabova. Brooch: Martenizas, 2010. Mixed media. Penka Arabova
Brooch: Martenizas, 2010
Mixed media
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Serin Oh. Ring: Untitled, 2010. Mixed media. Serin Oh
Ring: Untitled, 2010
Mixed media
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Tamara Grüner. Necklace: Von goldenen Ebenen und blauen Seen, 2009. Key plate in bronze -blackened, black porcelain, various plastics, pigment, copper, rock crystal, rose quartz, blackened silver. 15,4 x 11,2 x 1,9 cm. Tamara Grüner
Necklace: Von goldenen Ebenen und blauen Seen, 2009
Key plate in bronze -blackened, black porcelain, various plastics, pigment, copper, rock crystal, rose quartz, blackened silver
15,4 x 11,2 x 1,9 cm
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Denise Julia Reytan. Necklace: Show me colours, 2010. Mixed media. Denise Julia Reytan
Necklace: Show me colours, 2010
Mixed media
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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