Retrospect of Project Land Jewelry 2021

Article  /  Review   Artists   Research
Published: 14.10.2021
Aino-Astrid Gaedtke, Wiebke Pandikow
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LandJewelry was a project that invited artists with a background in jewellery to travel from their home countries around the Baltic Sea to the Swedish island of Öland and create land art - or, as we call it: Land Jewelry. The project was supposed to take place in the summer of 2020, but had to be postponed to the last days of August 2021 due to the Corona pandemic.
Eight artists coming from Finland, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden met at Segerstad lighthouse at the southeast shore of Öland. Where the gravel road ends, green fields with grazing cows meet flat limestone beaches, and shallow seawater is punctuated by stones. Here all artists stayed together at the lighthouse keeper's house, a typical Swedish one in dark red and white painted wood.

During the day, we worked outdoors with what was at hand in the landscape around us, making temporary pieces of art with the thematic background of the Baltic Sea and the environmental threats it faces. During five working days, we created almost 30 pieces of ‘land jewels’ in or close to the water, most of them sculptural installations. All pieces have been left where they were created as an homage to the Baltic Sea, with the exception of some non-degradable material we removed. Sooner or later our land jewelry will fall apart and the material it was made of will become part of the surrounding nature again. The traces of our intervention will fade.
All of us are inspired and enamoured of nature and the landscapes around us and we are concerned about the threats many ecosystems face because of climate change and other human intervention. We want to show and share this concern and raise the public’s awareness of environmental issues that ultimately concern all of us living by the beautiful Baltic Sea, or really anywhere on this planet.

The project was created and organized by Maja Breife (SE) and Wiebke Pandikow (FI), and the artists who joined the project on the island are: Ingrid Berg (SE), Aino-Astrid Gaedtke (DE), Elli Hukka (FI), Karina Kazlauskaite (LT), Lauryna Kiškyte (LT) and Kajsa Wikström (SE).

Each artist’s work was documented with pictures and texts and have been assembled into an exhibition which will be shown in each of the artist’s home countries. The first exhibition is up and running in Himmelsberga, Sweden, the second will open in November in Kotka, Finland, and two further exhibitions will be held in the first half of next year in Germany and Lithuania.

You can continue to follow the project and eventually see all the land art pieces on Facebook at Project Land Jewelry and Instagram @projectlandjewelry

Here are some personal thoughts and insights from some of the artists:

Maja Breife (SE)
I let coincidence and circumstances guide me in this project. Walking on the beach that first morning it did not look like I had imagined, the water level was up and the vegetation rich. At one point I crossed a water-filled ditch where grass grew high. I put my hands into the grass and started to braid it and so the process began.
It was such a wonderful experience to be a part of LandJewelry. I planted the seed of this together with Wiebke and it became all that what we thought it might be and even more. An unique experience to live and work with such a nice group of people in a lonely house by the shore of the Baltic Sea. The weather also became one factor to relate to as it really tested us with rain & wind.
I started to braid and it became 9 braids all together. After that I made two small hearts on the shore. My final piece was an upsized piece of jewelry. A bracelet for the land made from material from a Sea crying out for help.
Now after the event I feel this was just the start. I hope there will be plenty of land jewels to come.

Maja Breife. SOS – Save Our Souls, plank, red algae. 2 m wide.
Photo Wiebke Pandikow.

Wiebke Pandikow (FI)
As one of the organizers, bringing together eight people who had not met each other before, I was quite nervous about how the week would go, but then it went so, so well! I think we found a wonderful group, we had lovely and thoughtful conversations, we made and ate delicious meals. Working on and with the shore and the sea in wind and rain was challenging but also very rewarding. I found the flow I had hoped for, and best of all, I got the first touch of something I want to do more of at some point – working with weaving reeds in a landscape. I'm really happy with all the pieces we all eventually made, but the most important thing I found for myself, and which I hope the other participants found as well: inspiration for the future.

As for my piece on Öland: Most people know by now about the garbage patches in our oceans, gyres of marine debris created by ocean currents. While the Baltic Sea doesn’t have the same kind of currents to create its own garbage vortex, it certainly contains enough trash to fill one. This is a sea that connects us, currents that carry us and ours, carry what we discard right back to us. We cannot dump our problems in the sea, because we are connected to it, dependent on it. The currents will come back to haunt us.

Wiebke Pandikow. Gyres and Waves, woven living reed. Highest 1,5m tall.
Photo: Wiebke Pandikow.

Ingrid Berg (SE)
We, eight contemporary jewelry artists from countries surrounding the Baltic Sea gathered to do land art, having the advantage and joy to work on the grounds bordering this Sea, representing a huge ecosystem. We all eagerly challenged ourselves to find our personal path while creating site-specific installations related to the ongoing environmental issues regarding the Baltic Sea.
The asset is the ground and the landscape in itself, which is of interest for a wide audience.
New discoveries for us. The history and present add a perspective that prompts you to search for a way to see the ‘here’. The land artworks become a diary of our time, filled with different desires and destinies. The work is important also, as it adds a perspective on participation.
In one way or another, all works are about interaction, from watching to experiencing them, and the place physically, for us and for everyone who wants to take part of them.

Ingrid Berg. See the Sea – No borders, rusty iron and willow from shoreline and landbank. 1,5 m wide.
Photo Wiebke Pandikow.

Aino-Astrid Gaedtke (DE)
For me, it was a new and very exciting experience: to be part of our amazing group, to play on a big scale with nature at a charming place, to talk - while having delicious dinners - about jewellery and life and to add a lot of new and different ideas to my own ones.
I was, happily, able to realize my primary thought of building a big megaphone for the Baltic Sea to enable her to cry for help; her shouts need a possibility to smoothly go over from water to land, to get louder and to reach us humans. My material was a lovely combination of earth and water: plant sticks from a kind of wild chervil connected with seaweed “binding wire”. I set up the megaphone at the edge of the limestone directly coming out of the stinking red algae mud asphyxiating more and more the Baltic Sea.
My biggest and most wonderful challenge was the strong wind…
Back home, ideas start to arise out of these wonderful days full of fresh air and inspiration…

Aino-Astrid Gaedtke. Megaphone, sticks wild chervil, seaweed, natural string, limestone. 2 m long.
Photo Wiebke Pandikow.

Kajsa Wikström (SE)
For a few days on Öland, we gathered, eight artists from four countries around the Baltic Sea. We were united in the love of the sea and the grief over the sick condition of the Baltic Sea. We worked with materials from the landscape, and in association with the surroundings to express our desperation over the state of affairs.
As an artist with a background in the art of jewelry, I took the opportunity to create eight circles; eight is the magic number for renewal, the beginning of something. In the world of jewelry, the circle is also a ring, a promise and a connection. In this context, with the Baltic Sea as a venue, the number eight is not only magical, but also an injunction. A call for a restart and a change in our way of life, which today is destroying the sea.
I am deeply grateful for the days I had with my female artist colleagues on Öland, for the experiences we had together, and for the courage they all show in their work.

Kajsa Wikström. Eight Circles / Circle two, algae, Öland stone, water. 1,4 m wide.
Photo Wiebke Pandikow.


About the author

Wiebke Pandikow is a German jewellery artist living and working in Helsinki. She has worked with plastic bags since 2014, is regularly participating in group exhibitions internationally as well as holding regular solo exhibitions in Finland. She has also been part of organizing numerous projects concerning contemporary jewelry in Finland and abroad.

Aino-Astrid Gaedtke works in enamel jewelry. She lives and works in Northern Germany where Northern living and design inspire her and her pieces. She enjoys linking the old technique of enamelling with modern craft methods and thus creating a lively link between tradition and up-to-dateness.

Elli Hukka. Animal Skin, branch, wool, plants. 3m wide.
. Photo Wiebke Pandikow.
Elli Hukka. Animal Skin, branch, wool, plants. 3m wide.
Photo Wiebke Pandikow

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Karina Kazlauskaite. Standing in the Algae Bush, wooden sticks, thread, algae. Tallest 3 m tall.
. Photo Karina Kazlauskaite..
Karina Kazlauskaite. Standing in the Algae Bush, wooden sticks, thread, algae. Tallest 3 m tall.
Photo Karina Kazlauskaite.

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Lauryna Kiškytė. Serpent, pink limestone. 4 m long.
. Photo Wiebke Pandikow..
Lauryna Kiškytė. Serpent, pink limestone. 4 m long.
Photo Wiebke Pandiko

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Artists joint piece 'Exposed'.
Artists joint piece 'Exposed'

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