Tall Stories. Contemporary narrative Dutch jewellery
Exhibition / 15 Jan 2006 - 25 Feb 2006
SMs Stedelijk Museum
Tall Stories is an exhibition of work by eight well-known Dutch jewellery designers, grouped around two themes (...)
Tall Stories is an exhibition of work by eight well-known Dutch jewellery designers, grouped around two themes: memory, dream and fantasy and materials, temptation and tradition.
The exhibition shows that an item of jewellery can be more than just a decorative accessory. Even a simple piece can say a great deal about the origin, marital status and religion of the wearer. But jewellery can be more than symbolic: it can also embody stories. The only question is how. A story can only be told to a person who is listening. So these pieces of jewellery demand careful scrutiny. By consciously studying the different materials, figurative elements and forms incorporated in each piece, visitors to the exhibition will be able not only to find out what story the artist wishes to tell, but also to bring their own associations and memories to bear on it. This is what makes these pieces of jewellery exciting and intimate objects.
Items by Iris Eichenberg, Lucy Sarneel, Robert Smit and Truike Verdegaal are clustered around the theme of memory, dream and fantasy – stories relating to a world external to the jewellery itself. Iris Eichenberg’s work relates to the interior of the human body and to childhood memories, whereas the pieces by Lucy Sarneel and Truike Verdegaal use historical references. For instance, Lucy Sarneel has produced a series of pieces relating to the island of Marken and its folk costumes, while Truike Verdegaal has drawn inspiration from Dutch still lifes, Japanese culture and the art of portraiture. Robert Smit, on the other hand, creates a wholly imaginary world, in which a dog called Bello - Smit’s alter ego – appears in many different guises, as does Bello’s sister, and other characters like Lili and the ‘fat man’.
By contrast, items by Gijs Bakkers, Dinie Besems, Manon van Kouswijk and Ted Noten are clustered around the theme of materials, temptation and tradition and tell stories relating to the world of the jewellery itself. Gijs Bakker and Ted Noten frequently use their pieces to deliver an ironic commentary on jewellery, traditions, temptation and concepts of value. Dinie Besems’ work tells stories literally about time and place (her bracelet entitled “Here”) or about received ideas of beauty (her “Sausage” necklace). Manon van Kouswijk relates her jewellery to day-to-day rituals and the ordinary possessions with which we surround ourselves: a collar turns into a string of pearls, and a pearl necklace can equally well be ‘remodelled’ in porcelain (her “Remodel” necklace).
The exhibition includes not only recent work, but also a brief retrospective of each of the artists. In this sense, it tells not only the stories inherent to the items of jewellery themselves, but also the tale of each artist’s development – eight extra narratives within the framework of the exhibition.
The exhibition has been created by Liesbeth den Besten at the request of the Erasmus Huis in Jakarta (the Dutch Cultural Centre in Indonesia). After leaving ’s-Hertogenbosch, it will go on show in Indonesia.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication entitled Sterke verhalen
Published by: Erasmus Huis, Jakarta
Author: Liesbeth den Besten
Design: Opera Ontwerpers, Breda
48 pages, full colour, 17 illustrations, CVs of the artists.
Language: Dutch/Indonesian text, with a loose insert summarising the content in English.
Price: € 5
For further information and photographic copy, please phone 073 – 6273680
Tuesday & Thursday: 1 pm – 9 pm
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm
Closed on Monday and Christmas Day.
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