CONTEMPORANIA High Craftsmanship Barcelona

Article  /  Exhibiting   Collecting   Curating
Published: 20.07.2023
CONTEMPORANIA High Craftsmanship Barcelona.
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Ana Cardim. Brooch: Add to Cart, 2023. Goldplated brass, goldplated stainless steel clasps. 5. 2 x 5.1 cm. Ana Cardim
Brooch: Add to Cart, 2023
Goldplated brass, goldplated stainless steel clasps
5. 2 x 5.1 cm
© By the author. Read Copyright.

CONTEMPORANIA is a new fair in the city of Barcelona, to promote high craftsmanship and excellency. CONTEMPORANIA is a new fair at the Palau Pedralbes in Barcelona, dedicated to national and international contemporary crafts, and for its first edition, we are proud to confirm the presence of more than 350 artists. 130 artists representing international institutions, individual artists, galleries, and collectives inside the fair and more than 240 artists at OFF Circuit exhibitions around the city.
A cultural council was responsible for the selection of the artists, and after reviewing hundreds of submissions, the selection was made on the basis of technical achievement, statement, critical awareness and artistic vision.
Our aim is to support and provide a safe space for artisans to showcase their collections and perspectives on contemporary craft in an exclusive space in Barcelona, surrounded by the best of the world's high crafts.
CONTEMPORANIA organized by the Consortium of Commerce, Crafts and Fashion of Catalonia (CCAM) and Le Departement.

What to expect at Contemporania?
  • 40 individual artists from 20 countries.
  • 12 guest artists, winners of prestigious art jewellery fairs worldwide.
  • 23 artists represented by 3 galleries: Siat Gallery, Han Collection, Rubén Torres Gallery.
  • 33 artists in 5 collectives: Sudakas Chile, JORGC, Bound by Jewellery Czech Republic, A Circulation by Shangai China, Sichuan Fine Arts.
  • 26 artists in 4 International Crafts Institutions: World Crafts Council Europe, Consortium of Commerce, Crafts and Fashion of Catalonia (CCAM), EOI - Fundesarte, and World Crafts Council Africa.
  • Art Installation by Ricard Domingo.
  • 240 artists at OFF Circuit: exhibitions in the best galleries and artistic venues of Barcelona.
  • III Professional Crafts Conference called “The World of luxury vindicates the Artistry of exquisite Craftsmanship” organized by the Consortium of Commerce, Crafts and Fashion of Catalonia (CCAM). Celebrated Friday 29th September 2023
  • Award ceremony.
  • Guided tours.
  • Homo Faber guide for artists by Michelangelo Foundation.
  • … and more.
About the artists:
Artists from different crafts will present their proposals based on innovation and artistic vision in contemporary crafts through different types of applied arts such as ceramics, jewellery, lacquer, metal, textiles, glass, paper and wood. This year, the Cultural Council has focused on the meaning and history of each artist, because a piece of art is not just an object or a piece of jewellery, the true value lies in the language and intention of the artists to express through art.
“Art Jewellery, as portable pieces, needs a place on a body, and the crafts a reflective mind”.

Some of the concepts that will be present at Contemporania:
Everyday life in the mind of the artist
Tradition and identity are two of the main inspirations we will find in this edition. A deep journey through the mind and work of artists like Alex Kinsley, who explores his culture and how it defines his current work. Rust, corrosion, a sense of neglect, the memory of a fading heritage and the ability to endure are the concepts and the imagery throughout his eyes and hands.

Alex Kinsley Vey. Necklace: Sectors 02, 2019.
Steel, spray paint, magnets, sterling silver, cotton rope. 15 x 1.2 x 20.5 cm
From series: Iron Identity

In the case of Namkyung Lee, represented by Siat Gallery, will present a work based on her memories, how to capture a beautiful moment in a photograph and turn this memory into a piece of art jewellery that can be carried with us wherever we go. Travels, architecture, still life, flowers and other illustrations are transformed into brooches and other portable art pieces for the body.

Namkyung Lee. Brooch: Untitled, 2023.
Sterling silver, photograph printed on acrylic. 12.1x 7.8 x3.5 cm

Sophie Aguilera, on the other hand, focuses on the exploration and revision of still life as a genre. From artifice and theatricality to the creation of new scenarios inspired by tradition and conventions. In these scenarios she includes small anachronisms or visual tensions that appeal to humor or nostalgia, inviting the viewer to consider new ways of interpreting the domestic, the everyday life.

Sophie Aguilera. Sculpture: Mientras Dure, 2023
Gres. 47 x 42 x 76 cm

Tamara Marbl, the winner of Schmuck 2023, has experienced an earthquake, a war and a long process of migration, channelling these successions into art by creating concrete and metal objects based on her personal circumstances. Digging through her memory, she tried to identify fragments of the past, as each piece she creates is an extension of her early life.

Tamara Marbl Joka. Brooch: Reflected 5, 2023
Concrete, silver, steel 7.5 x 0.6 x 9 cm

Sustainable Awareness
Our culture is becoming more socially responsible and ecologically active, inside the art world, sustainability has led to the development of groundbreaking works that use innovative materials and media to convey powerful messages about climate change, politics and social injustice.
Mabel Pena, from the collective Sudakas Chile, aware us of the importance of the wetland, as the Earth without them is inconceivable. In her words – “they provide us endless benefits - they maintain biodiversity, absorb pollutants, reduce the impact of floods. Yet, they are fiercely and consistently devastated”. Her work encourages the public to take care of this biodiversity and condemn the traces of pollution and the consequences of human actions against nature.

Mabel Pena. Bracelet: Wetlands II, 2021.
Recycled plastic bags, 3D filament, ink. 10 x 17 x 10 cm. Photo by: Damián Wasser

Fabiana Gadano, from the same collective, express herself with daily materials, such as plastic bottles. Her statement says – Have you thought what is the destiny of plastic bottles? Some will be recycled, while others will drift in rivers and seas. With them, the artist creates art jewellery giving a new life to a non-valuable material.

Fabiana Gadano. Brooch: Wounded VIII, 2019. Unique piece
Recycled PET plastic from water and soft drink bottles, epoxy resin, nickel silver and patinated copper. 8 x 3 x 13 cm

Sustainable art, like most aspects of the art world, can be defined in many different ways. Some artists are mainly concerned with expressing environmental issues, while others use non-environmental materials and techniques in their work such as Eunseok Han, JOYA Winner 2021. Her statement expresses: the disposables we use every day are considered non-precious materials and are only used once and then discarded. In general, diamonds, gold and silver are great materials for jewellery, but why not disposable cans?

Eunseok Han. Necklace: Along the Waves, 2022
Recycled cans, HMA, PLA, silver, pearls. 19 x 38 x 3 cm

By re-using disposable cans, the artist creates a new colourful universe and helps to reduce environmental pollution; by using discarded aluminium cans, she expresses the beautiful colours of coral, which are slowly disappearing due to pollution. Han hopes that both the cans and the corals will be with us for a long time to come.
Enjoiat 2022 winner Teresa Faris, on the other hand, works with slow and ethical production and creates one-of-a-kind jewellery using recycled, foraged and ethically mined materials that are free of heavy metals. Each piece is designed and constructed to be recyclable in the future. She says – These storytelling pieces sit at the fulcrum of innovation and tradition and are made to last a lifetime, be safe to wear and never end up in a landfill.

Teresa Faris: CWaB Lien 16, 2019. Unique piece.
Sterling silver, stainless steel, wood altered by a bird, reclaimed comfy perch. 10 x 12 x 2 cm

Political craftsmanship
The relationship between art and politics is complex. Art can contribute to political debate by supporting current political and ideological views. More often, however, art is a disruptive form that acts as a tool to transform existing political and social realities. Art can raise certain political issues or reinterpret different social structures, as the following artists do.
As Ukrainian artist Denis Music says, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security. Everyone deserves to be happy. But there is a force that is determined to conquer everyone. Terror and dictatorship. In the face of this force, the only way to preserve freedom is collective resistance. Resistance for a free life.” His powerful works reflect the current war in Ukraine.

Denis Music. Brooch: Resistance, 2023.
Silver, steel, parts of resistors. 5 x 1 x 10 cm

The Portuguese artist Ana Cardim ironizes the mass consumption of people. Her work explores the mobility of bodily adornment as a platform for sociability and a place for discussion that stimulates dynamic dialogues - creating and recreating critical opinion with political value in the public sphere.

In the same line, Gerard Valls from Spain, works from the observation of the environment, nature and contemporary social attitudes with a critical and sarcastic discourse, giving special prominence to the beauty of imperfection.

Gerard Valls. Necklace: This necklace was made by Gerard Valls, 2021.
Stainless steel, acrylic paint, spray paint. 40 x 53 cm

Contemporania is a platform where craft meets concept, the discourse translated to each piece gives a new meaning to the object. The aspect is a result of a process of experimentation, each artist wants to express a feeling or experience and freeze this memory into a highly crafted piece of art.

About the Conference
Friday 29th September 2023
“The world of luxury vindicates the artistry of exquisite craftsmanship”
Prescribers, markets and connectors.
Exquisite craftsmanship represents excellence and invites reflection and dialogues with design and art. The world of luxury seeks, needs and claims high craftsmanship, from design, fashion, experiential experiences, window dressing, gastronomy, museums or the conception of common and domestic spaces.
Brands, projects and luxury initiatives constantly and infinitely seek the quality, perfection and exclusivity of artisan know-how. It is for this reason that, in the framework of the 3rd edition of the Professional Congress of Crafts, we want to deepen the world of luxury from the prescribers and key agents to give light, ideas and possibilities to promote the handicraft business.
The III Professional Crafts Congress will deal with the interactions between luxury and craftsmanship where respect for tradition, creativity and innovation are common. The aim is to be a meeting point, exchange ideas and create synergies to strengthen the craft sector, luxury, design, fashion and art. For this reason, this edition is part of the CONTEMPORANIA, a fair that promotes national and international craftsmanship with the aim of becoming the new reference space for contemporary crafts.
Now, more than ever is the time for craftsmanship to believe it. The luxury sector needs the handicraft sector. But, how to get there? How and where can the two sectors meet? This will be the starting point from where the professionals who will come will share their points of view, dynamics and experiences. Professionals who explore, choose and select the craftsmen and craftswomen with whom to create, think and work the processes, products, contents or experiences.
The Professional Crafts Congress continues, now more than ever, with the aim of generating a platform for reflection and debate on crafts, as established by the Strategic Plan for Crafts promoted by the Consortium of Trade, Crafts and Fashion of Catalonia. A meeting point to share resources, tools, values, and experiences, strengthen the sector and promote the exchange of ideas and synergies between the different creative and productive actors.

>> Application for The Professional Crafts Congress