Unfolding at Intergem

Exhibition  /  29 Sep 2023  -  01 Oct 2023
Published: 14.03.2023
Lisha Wang. Necklace: Uncontrollability, 2022. Agate and brass.. Lisha Wang
Necklace: Uncontrollability, 2022
Agate and brass.
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The group Unfolding is comprised of 10 BFA and MFA graduates from the Hochschule Trier in Idar-Oberstein, coming from 8 different countries to study gemstone and jewellery.

Artist list

Bahareh Arian, Ana Bellagamba, Natascha Frechen, Sandra Hartman, Chen Lin, Elias Neuspiel, Vladislav Ozhegov, Constanza Salinas, Pegah Vedad, Lisha Wang
During their studies they had to constantly adapt, firstly to Idar-Oberstein after moving here, then by the circumstances, the whole world was under during the pandemic and the lockdown. Like everyone else, they had to stay home away from the workshops for a while, finding new materials and ways to work. Last semester the young artists had to be quick to adapt and move once again when their school burned down. Some had to redo all their graduation work or study a semester longer. But they made it. They are here. Ready to pack again, go on tour to show their work to the world, and prepare for the next chapter after this adventurous study.

Their works are as varied as they are and they are stepping out of the box. The jewellery they make is not necessarily what one expects when hearing about jewellery design, there are even graduates who do not work making jewellery, but focus on body-related art.

Artists Statements:

Lisha Wang:

My work is about the hole, which also means a whole.
It is such an abstract being, but it is also present in our lives in a wide and embodied way.
It is both fullness and emptiness.
It is the hole drilled and the material drilled out.
It is the visible and invisible process of making.
It is what we see and what we don't see.
It is what we think and what we don't think.
It is every detail and bit of life.
It is the meaning of meaninglessness.

Ana Bellagamba:
My research turned to answering an identity question and finding out where I stand as a jewellery maker. It naturally developed into a cultural identity investigation to find where I come from and what my influences are. Here, the starting point for these works is the textile. In my artistic practice, they are the connection to my female ancestors and their importance in my life, who I am, and where I am today. The textile, the sewing technique, and the embroidery inspirations come as a tribute to them. This body of work made me pay attention to learning and accept to follow myself without thinking all the time. It showed me time is essential to my perception and creation as repetition became a constant feature that sets the rhythm of making.

Bahareh Arian: 
Obstacles are an inseparable part of life. Even if a person could turn off the mental processes, it cannot change the unpleasant feeling while encountering an obstacle in their life. People may learn how to control their emotions like anger, sadness, and many others, but they cannot change their "affect" and inner feelings about something. So that unpleasant feeling is unavoidable and causes pain and suffering. The only way to change 'affect' is to change the self-concept that is built since childhood. And try to see the world differently from human beings' known and even unknown features. Sometimes a person could nourish their existence by finding a meaning for their sufferings, and sometimes obstacles are not acting as a hindrance on the way to growing the nature of a being.

Chen Lin:
Jade has had a high status in China throughout history. It is a symbol of culture and the embodiment of ethics, it also contains the personalities of Chinese people. I try to redefine Jade in a contemporary context, giving it a new vigour and bringing it to life. As the process of making is deeply influenced by my personal experiences, the work is not only culturally diverse and richly imaginative but also includes the philosophies of Taoism and Buddhism. There are reflections and thoughts on Jade, as well as an open attitude and a sense of hope for the future.

Natascha Frechen:
Inspired by nature as a transformative power, creative and destructive at the same time, I work with the idea of connectedness and transience. I incorporate the human body as the border and yet the connecting aspect to the surrounding world. Using body metaphors as a human way to understand the world and also representing the emotional side. Shapes appear from the rough, natural surface of the raw stone. Broken edges symbolise a piece as a part of something bigger. I work with the connectedness of all aspects in nature also referring to the purpose and power that jewellery used to have. Creating objects as well as drawings is my way of expressing thoughts and perceptions as well as a way of understanding and observing.
Nature is embodied in the feminine that is connected to the earth. As we understand our surrounding both our physical and spiritual bodies by perceiving and processing, the body is a connecting as well as bordering aspect of our existence between our mind and our surrounding, mind, body and nature interacting and influencing one another.

Elias Neuspiel:
During my bachelor studies in Idar-Oberstein, I focused on developing my way of working with stone as my main material. It takes a long time, is hard, cold, sharp, loud and can hurt sometimes but it is amazing how beautiful the results turn out. My approach to creating a new piece does not follow a specific set or rules. When I sit in my workshop I tend to let my thoughts drift off into the distance and start to daydream. Inside these daydreams, I see an abstract mixture of thoughts and pictures which are combinations of things I have experienced. In my work, I combine the form I found in my studies with the ideas I get from daydreaming. I love it when people touch my work and playfully figure out what images they start seeing and what connects them to my work.

Vladislav Ozhegov:
The magical creatures and magic stones became more and more real on the screens of cinemas and in virtual reality. Both faceted gemstones and action movies are among the most prized artefacts that people created, however, few people know that without semiconductors made from crystals and Quartz in particular, none of the magic of Hollywood or electronic devices, would work whatsoever.
Phantasy and technology rapidly advanced hand in hand but solving yesterday's problems often have an ambivalent effect on the present. The copy-paste production and media encourage youngsters to wear digital masks. Analyzing modern media, the question of the didactic component comes to mind. Stories shape children's understanding of their surroundings and influence their actions. How often do we see violent plots in today's comics, games and movies... There's also a tendency to go in circles after the heavily advertised American model of the fictional narrative.  The old Eastern tales set an example of a hero trying to surpass human capabilities, to share with people the divine knowledge of nature and the mysterious beauty of underground treasures.
It's hard to comprehend the world without acknowledging things exceeding our understanding. The enigmatic role that stones play in our culture. The inspiration comes from contact with nature. The connection between the underground bowels of the earth and the expansion of horizons through virtual reality and AI. The old tales about crafts and nature's spirits helped ease and explain the surrounding world, historical entanglements and the struggles of creative pursuit. Maybe acknowledging the role of minerals in our everyday life and their connecting powers throughout history and continents can help us to understand the extent of our dependence on nature and the sanctity of its exhortations. Maybe appreciation for the beauty of stones and inspiration of an ordinary stroll in the forest might make you realize, the connection we all have with the planet and each other.

Constanza Salinas:
Working with stone has made me incorporate Time into the process. I believe you can see the Time I put into the work in the final piece, becoming an additional material on my workbench.
The marks left by tools breathe life into the material, telling us about the process.
I relate strongly to the stone as a material, I always come back to it. It makes me feel at home. 
My forms are influenced by my drawings and prints. I repeat a form and an idea multiple times, making variations to get closer to what is essential.
In some stone pieces, I see landscapes. Reminders of places. Non-specific places could be anywhere. Some unidentified land that is always home. 
My work has a raw, strong, soft and quietly feminine quality.

Pegah Vedad:
These small sculptures are the 'Shout' inside me and you! A loud cry that we can no longer hear due to its continuity. The little creature inside us, always screaming and crying restlessly, sometimes just asking for more and more. Each of us tries to somehow calm it down and then forget about it. Today, my scream is louder than ever, and it is not only because of my encounter with the complexity of the consumerism phenomenon and it's behind-the-scenes but because of all the things that I am experiencing these days. the current conditions of my country, Iran, also what is happening unjustly in the whole world, greed, hypocrisy and many other things that we all know about them, leave no way for me except to shout loudly.
Hoping that this shout will be heard…

Bahareh Arian. Necklace: Shadow’s End, 2023. Basalt, jasper, onyx, silver.. Bahareh Arian
Necklace: Shadow’s End, 2023
Basalt, jasper, onyx, silver.
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Ana Bellagamba. Necklace: 1008 Mesclas, 2022. Textile and heliotrope.. Ana Bellagamba
Necklace: 1008 Mesclas, 2022
Textile and heliotrope.
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Chen Lin. Brooch: Flow, 2023. Arkansas, bamboo and stainless steel.. Chen Lin
Brooch: Flow, 2023
Arkansas, bamboo and stainless steel.
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Natascha Frechen. Necklace: Untitled, 2023. Agate, linen and wool.. Natascha Frechen
Necklace: Untitled, 2023
Agate, linen and wool.
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Elias Neuspiel. Necklace: No Title, 2022. Garnet, silk.. Elias Neuspiel
Necklace: No Title, 2022
Garnet, silk.
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Vladislav Ozhegov. Brooch: Softness Unfelt, 2023. Basalt, polymer.. Vladislav Ozhegov
Brooch: Softness Unfelt, 2023
Basalt, polymer.
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Constanza Salinas. Necklace: No Title, 2022. Jasper, linen, thread and rice.. Constanza Salinas
Necklace: No Title, 2022
Jasper, linen, thread and rice.
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Pegah Vedad. Object: No Title, 2023. Polymer clay.. Pegah Vedad
Object: No Title, 2023
Polymer clay.
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