Of this and more. A critical reflection on creativity

Article  /  CriticalThinking   Artists
Published: 21.02.2019
Leonor Hipólito Leonor Hipólito
Leonor Hipólito
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I hang a jacket in the wardrobe and leave a jewel on its lapel. It is suspended there to remind me of a mood. (1)
When we look at a form we see first a superficial image but as we look longer that image starts gaining volume. We see layers of meaning building up as we establish connections between its different elements, and while it grows more complex as we engage emotionally with it what before was a visual experience turns then ever more physical. The time we grant ourselves to perceive something is key to acknowledge its significance.

Detail of the exhibition Today I am tomorrow another one, Espaço AZ, Lisbon, 2017.
Photo by Arne Kaiser.

A jewel can be perceived as a blueprint of a personal desire for integration and completion, be it in the physical, emotional, social, or spiritual level, and like any artistic manifestation, it reflects as much of a state of mind as its tangible counterpart. Like the layers we see coming into view as longer we look at a form, jewels surely demand a look beneath the surface.
Those who make use of the expressiveness of a language such as jewellery in its most contemporary quality, free from the constraints of classic and traditional demands, are artists that without renouncing its history use it to position themselves in the present, choosing jewellery intentionally as a means to reinforce notions of proximity, affectivity, identity, among many others. They seek to challenge perceptions, benefitting from the specific characteristics that identify its visuals, interested to highlight the cultural dynamics that spring from the constructs of self-image and from the relationships between self and others within their contemporaneity. It is important for them to expand their ideas and not limit them, driven by the essence of art — the gesture — they approach jewellery as a sequence of many gestures that orchestrate value and meaning.
Interested in various topics, without confining them to a single format, artists who see in jewellery an inspiring form of communication don’t necessarily stop there. By their own experience won’t find in the specialization of the artificer in sublimating matter or in the splendour of wearability all that can motivate their research and practice. Rather, they make from an intimate symbology of ‘being’ and ‘relating’ their first step into the ontological research through the fascinating world of creativity, interconnecting different forms of expression to emphasize ways of regarding what matters to them.

Detail of the exhibition Today I am tomorrow another one, Espaço AZ, Lisbon, 2017.
Photo by Arne Kaiser.


(1) Hipólito, Leonor, Looking at us looking at us, ed. Leonor Hipólito (Gráfica Maiadouro, PT, 2017), p.53.

About the author

Leonor Hipólito is an artist who uses a variety of expressions such as jewellery, poetry, drawing, sculpture and photography, often complementing each other as a means of presenting her perspective on the relationship between the physical, psychological and the emotional aspects of the human being.
Her studies in contemporary jewellery at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, Netherlands, from 1995 to 1999, and at the Parson’s School of Design, New York, USA, in 1998, enabled her to reinvent her relationship with sculpture that during the year of 1994 she had studied at Ar.Co, Lisbon, Portugal
Author and publisher of several books made in collaboration with the photographer and graphic designer Arne Kaiser, Leonor Hipólito launched überstein (2009), Beyond Emotions (2012), 22 reflections on the dissolution of the self (2015), Preto (2015), Sem retorno (2017), Looking at us looking at us (2017), Writing Pad (2019).
Since 1998 her work has been presented in galleries and private spaces, and her ideas disseminated throughout lectures, workshops, and publications.