The diamonds in Antwerp

Published: 15.05.2013
Sanna Svedestedt, Karin Roy Andersson Sanna Svedestedt, Karin Roy Andersson
Sanna Svedestedt Carboo, Karin Roy Andersson
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A few weeks ago I caught a flight at Göteborg Airport. My stomach was filled with butterflies and my bags with jewellery. I was heading for Antwerp and Beyond Fashion where I was to set up my first solo exhibition.

Luckily my dear mother waited for me at the airport in Brussels. Although I might not be completely objective I must say she is an extraordinary wonderful mother. Not only caring, patient and kind, she also LOVE jewellery. She has bought pieces from most of my friends and when she goes shopping for a new dress she always keeps in mind what jewellery will go with the new outfit.    

When we arrived in Antwerp we immediately knew we had found the right place.

We also found the Bread & Breakfast where we were supposed to stay. Finding the entrance was harder. We knew that the room was on top of a restaurant, but when we arrived the place was closed.

Fortunately two old ladies showed up. They explained that there was a backdoor. After climbing over a pile of tucked away tables we found the door. The door was open and in the end of a narrow staircase was the B&B-manager. I was a little worried, where had I brought my mother? But when we opened the door we discovered a wonderful flat with a great view over the piazza in front of the art museum.

Also the restaurant The Patine turned out to be a great place where we consumed significant amounts of wonderful Belgian coffee, soup and freshly made orange juice.

The next day we met Karin De Buysere and René Darmont to start setting up the exhibition. This moment was the reason for many of the butterflies; exposing a new series of pieces to be judged and inspected. But the moment I entered the gallery the butterflies left. It was a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere and I was able to focus on more important things than flying insects.

Beyond Fashion is a gallery located in the “art-quarters” of Antwerp. The main focus is contemporary jewellery and the gallery represents about 40 Belgian and international artists. It is a long and narrow space with white walls and high ceiling.   We decided on a set-up using one wall and presenting the pieces on small white shelves. With some help from Francois the job was easily done - especially for me who mostly stood two metres away saying “mmm... a little higher... yes! Or no... a little to the left”.

The morning before the opening my mother and I took a walk in the Stadspark and when looking down in the water we saw this:


It is a quite big shoal of fish. The title of my exhibition is “Catching Big Fish”. No one I asked had ever seen fish in that pond before - funny coincident.  

The opening was fantastic - so many friends came from far away - in spite of traffic jams and hours of driving, and many people just popped in from the street attracted by all the fuzz.

One of the visitors was Camilla Bruse who works for a diamond company in Antwerp. The next day I got the chance to visit their office and she showed me some of the precious stones. The company, Langerman Diamonds, are specialized in coloured diamonds. Working almost ten years in the commercial jewellery business and in a pawnshop I have been in a lot of contact with diamonds, but now I realize the coloured ones are a different dimension. Seeing these sparkling, brilliant stones in all these amazing colours swept me off my feet.

But the best diamonds in Antwerp was not the small shiny ones. The closer I get to know the jewellery world the more treasures I find - it seams to be a good magnet attracting wonderful people! Thank you so much Karin, René, Hervée, Amy, Karen, Carolina, Yolande, Jorge, Willy, Camilla, Victor, Woody, Linda and all the rest of you. Hope to see you soon again!

Traveling around in the jewellery world is not bad - quite the opposite, and participating in an exhibition is a good reason for a workation. In the beginning of September Sanna and I are setting up “Play for Display” here in Göteborg - do not forget to send in your application!  

We left Antwerp with champagne bubbles in our stomachs, they were doing some pr-thing at the train station, but to us it was Antwerp saying good bye.  

- Bye for now, we will be back!    



About the author

Diagonal is a collaboration between Karin Roy Andersson & Sanna Svedestedt. Our focus is to promote contemporary art jewellery. With this blog we share our views & thoughts to take you with us through the ups & downs of our jewellery adventures.