Walking around the Fair you could see many already well-known jewellery artists. A Review of JOYA, Barcelona Art Jewellery & Objects Fair 2018

Article  /  CarolinDenter   Review
Published: 09.10.2018
Walking around the Fair you could see many already well-known jewellery artists. A Review of JOYA, Barcelona Art Jewellery & Objects Fair 2018.
Carolin Denter
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JOYA Barcelona Art Jewellery & Objects, which took place from 4th to 6th of October 2018, is the main art jewellery event in Spain. Those 3 days of JOYA Barcelona Art Jewellery & Objects Fair are one of Europes best possibilities of coming together, share experiences and expand your network. Next to the highly professional frame and organization of JOYA Barcelona, the prestigious different Awards selected from a young Jury, the catching atmosphere of the „off JOYA“ programme and the unmissable flair of the city Barcelona are the main reasons to take part in next years edition.
Gathering a great number of independent artists as well as related organizations, schools and other entities, JOYA, in its 10th edition presented innovative ideas in contemporary jewellery and objects. For the first time, this years edition took place at the Disseny Hub in Barcelona.
Since ten years Joya in Barcelona is taking place, and it is growing continuously. Moving to the Design Museum Disseny Hub, a public driven space at the Poble Nou Area, was meant to improve and to set the jewellery in a very special context. Surrounded by Design classics and unique architecture, the JOYA 2018 opened its doors to a wider audience and reached out to aesthetics and design lovers in all disciplines. The aim of this change in location was the objective of bonding two artistic aspects that are related to each other, creating a link where art jewellery can be interpreted as an object, just as an author's object can be considered a jewel.

Showroom at Disseny Hub

The showroom on Level B at the Disseny Hub, a large open space with 3,800 m² which overlooks the Elisava Gardens Lake with the Poblenou façade providing spectacular natural light, was the chosen location of these years fair. The ceilings are high, which accentuates the room’s character. Additional, the ceiling is fitted with LED light which provided decorative lighting (especially on polished surfaces of jewellery) while making it possible to mark areas, such as the school's section, through lighting effects.

As mentioned, more spacious than the previous location, the Disseny Hub created an interesting surrounding for the 50 selected artists including 6 winners of prestigious international awards, 4 galleries, 3 collectives, and 13 national and international schools, making a total of 300 talented and fresh artists representing themselves to the jewellery world. This Years Participants have been selected from a Jury, consisting of Charon Kransen, Rosy Greenless, Gabriela Izquierdo, Rubén López, Piotr Rybaczek, Wanshu Li and Founder Paulo Ribeiro, which have all a special connection to Contemporary Art and Design as well as craftsmanship.

Galleries and Collectives at the JOYA 2018 at Disseny Hub

Entering Level B and the Space of JOYA 2018 Fair, the visitors got welcomed by the Stands of the galleries and collectives represented.
Starting with the Alchimia Gallery, which is an initiative that supports the work and creativity of the students studying at its school. Every year, students from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds gather at Alchimia to bring a personal and unique point of view to the jewellery world. This selection of pieces is also a reflection of Alchimia's spirit and identity.

Table of Alchimia Gallery, presenting works from different graduates of Alchimia School.

The next presentation belongs to N1.47 collective from Düsseldorf, Germany. 4 Artists who studied together started this collective in the aim to make enjoyable, colorful jewellery in fresh shapes.

Table of the N1.47 collective with works from Beru Inou, Laura Christmann, Yiquing Cai and Tereza Duskova.

The next collective was Assamblage from Romania. The National Contemporary Jewelry Association was launched in May 2015 during Romanian Design Week, the result of a 6-year project supporting, developing and structuring the emerging field of contemporary jewellery. Assamblage is the main and most active platform in Romania dedicated to the craft and design of jewellery as an independent art form. We have contributed to the cultural context over the past few years with increased activity in the field of jewellery, in close connection with related fields such as architecture, product design, and visual arts.

Stand of Assamblage from Romania. 

Interesting for those who love the craftsmanship of local artists, was the stand of Artesania Catalunya. The collective is part of the Catalan Government's Trade and shows craftsmanship and fashion, ceramics, objects and jewellery, all produced in Catalonia.

The stand of Artesania Catalunya, representing exclusively local craftsmen.

The Popeye Loves Olive Gallery from Greece represented 9 Greek artists in a fresh presentation of unusual and innovative jewellery.

Greek artists at Popeye loves Olive Gallery

Gioielli in Fermento is an international exhibition project and award for contemporary studio jewellery. Starting out in the landscapes of Italy, in the wine-making region of the Emilia hills, surrounded by positive and inspiring environments, the initiative has opened its borders by bringing in established and emerging artists from different countries to express their relationship with this particular context. Gioielli in Fermento was representing the selected artists from the G.i.F. Award and the last year's winner Ryungjae Jung, from Korea. His investigation in advanced techniques and aesthetical balances gives birth to works which are precious for their lightness, their movement and their interaction with the body, beyond the nature of the material and the structure they are built of. This approach has been interpreted by all the jury as the inner concept of fermentation in jewellery for the current edition of the G.i.F. contest.

Ryungjae Jung, Brooch, Platycodon, Polyamide, Silver 925, 2018. Winner of the Gioielli in Fermento Award 2018.

Walking around the Fair you could see a lot of already well-known jewellery artists from the last JOYA editions. But this year a more international selection was standing out. There have been selected jewellers from India, Canada, United States, Brazil, Vietnam, Finland, Romania, Jordan and many more.The presented works have been various as the artists themselves and it was stimulating to see so many different approaches, cultural influences, and as someone who goes to JOYA every year, you could follow the progress some artists made in their work. Following you will read about some of the many talented artists exhibiting during Joya:

Last years JOYA AWARD 2017 winner Wanshu Li was invited as guest artist and had a prominent large table in the center of the showroom. Still working on her „ Go with the Glow“ series, inspired by brilliant colors and sensuous movements of sea creatures, such as jellyfish and sea anemones. The concept of her work aims to explore a multi-sensory wearing experience in jewellery, which involves different sensory perceptions such as visual enjoyment, tactility, and sound. Her fascination with dance culture, laser light shows, and stage performances have influenced as well her presentation table, on which she gives the visitors the possibility to play with her pieces and some blacklight torches.

JOYA AWARD winner of 2017: Wanshu Li 

A second well-known jewellery artist presented a new collection of amazing glass works: Agustina Ros, Winner of the Enjoia't Professional Award 2017. Her collection of mirrored glass rings brooches and earrings present themselves in futuristic shapes. Reflecting their environment, the new space at the Disseny Hub, with its playful LED Seiling, brought the pieces to a new level. For her newest collection of glass jewellery, she did not use the mirror aesthetics, but she creates interesting surfaces trough fusing different glass forms into the hollow body of her rings and pendants.

Agustina Ros Winner of the Enjoia't Professional Award 2017.

The aesthetical opposite to the delicate, airy work of Agustina Ros, could be found at the Stand of Deema Murad from Jordan. The presented degree work from 2018 (at Alchimia School) is made from iron nails. Her work is titled „Equanimity“ describing the calm mental state which occurs after a shock, disappointment or after a stressful situation. Her pieces give the impression of medieval armors or Egyptian pectorals (necklaces which adorn not only the neck but also shoulders and the chest). Trough weaving hundreds and thousands of fasteners and nails into objects, she finds a rhythm, almost like a meditation which makes her feel free. The poetical pieces are filled with emotions of the maker and worn, they feel heavy and cold on the first sight, but calming and protective as soon as they found their position on one's body.

Deema Murad from Jordan presents her graduation work, mainly using iron nails. 

Talking about pieces with a poetical language, it leads us to Helmi Lindblom's work „Ode to Cloudberries“. Walking past her table many times the pieces quietness, in a room full of noise, caught attention. Pale colors, fragile aesthetics, humor and sadness, all this is hidden in her pieces. Her main materials are second-hand shells, balloons, and condoms, it´s a play with values, with decisions we all make, it is a confrontation with wellness and illness and a meeting point for the well known and the unexpected. For her, jewellery is a platform to discuss this issues.

Helmi Lindbloms work "Ode to Cloudberries" 

All about Solidarity are Lucy Ganley's pieces, Winner of the J-Plus Award by Klimt02 and Winner of the Talente Award 2018. Lucy's collection draws inspiration from the prisoners' diaries she read after visiting Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary. Continuing her research, she wanted to hear the direct voices of inmates confined in UK prisons today, so writing to them gave the project an insight into their daily lives. The brooches address the issue of prisoner mistreatment and Lucy hand-stitched inmates' words and drawings onto brooches made from brown paper bags. The resulting pieces pass comment on Behaviour Modification, a treatment in part a punishment widely used in US prisons. The materials' fragility embodies the unequal struggle of a prisoner against the prison system. In the wearing of these brooches, you show your solidarity.

Lucy Ganley´s awarded work about prejudices on prisoners.

Teodor Siminic is a Romanian jewellery artist and the Winner of the Autor Award, which includes the invitation to Barcelona. His work references Romanian mythology in the context of today. Dealing with this topic, Teodor Siminic interprets how humans deal with the unknown and incomprehensibleness.

Autor Award winning work by Teodor Siminic.

Lodie Kardouss was the winner of the JOYA Award which was given during the Athens Jewellery Week 2018. She was invited to present her work and perform during JOYA 2018. Walking through the fair on the first day, an almost empty table caught the attention of many. Around midday, the artist performed „Curiosity“ and on the next day, some more pieces appeared on the table (and wall). Talking about pieces, we talk about photography and, as the artist calls them, artifacts. The artist explains her work as follows: „Curiosity is a proposal that unfolds around jewelry through performances and photographs. Due to the ephemeral and destroyable nature of its structure, each piece composing Curiosity needs to be re-enacted whenever it is exhibited. (…) I propose jewelry that embodies reflexion and contemplation in response to our productive society of commercialism, hyper-consumption, and fast-paced living. Curiosity wants to transcend the marketable object by going beyond direct body ornamentation and by proposing a journey into the mental and emotional spaces of the observer. Jewelry takes the quality of performing art. These artifacts invite us to live an experience, one that can change our perception of the world, one that can move us on our way.“

"Curiosity" installation and performance by Lodie Kardouss.

Swiss designer Cédric Chevalley uses the principle of upcycling in his „Fuckyeah“ collection. He fell in love with the warm aesthetics of old skateboard decks, which consists of 7, differently colored maple woods. With his bold statement jewellery, he communicated the fact that things can be broken, dirty, no longer available for use, but still he can create something new with it. Using just the best features and bring them to the forefront, for a new life as a piece of Art.

Swiss designer Cédric Chevalley shows his  „Fuckyeah“ collection.

Last but not least there have been 5 international and 8 national Schools exhibiting at JOYA 2018. Some of the Schools were showing all degree work of their graduates, but especially the local schools showed a reduced amount of artists, in some cases even one. Three have been chosen to give an impression about the Schools area. For the first time, a School from Australia took part, the RMIT University. Representing 6 Students, all of them with a light and narrative language. Yu Fang Chi is one of them. She is a Taiwan-born jewellery artist, currently works and lives in Melbourne, Australia. She introspects the processes of making and the position of the female body. Her practice involves repetitive fiber-related techniques which can be connected to traditional domestic art processes. Her „Inner Series“  involves the extension of weaving components of varying sizes and shapes. Through soft yet sturdy metal wires, the artist attempts to structure, document and portray individual thinking and the status quo, and in turn, explores the difference and dialogue between the inner self and external appearance. Next, to metal wires, she used silky textiles and electroformed them to create an interesting lightweight and structured piece.

Yu Fang Chi, Inner Crease (Necklace), 2018, Copper, steel wire, synesthetic material, silk thread, metallic car paint, 9 x 5 x 46 cm

The Evening College Jewelry Design Herbststrasse from Austria is recurrent exhibiting at the JOYA Fair. The six-term evening college course for jewellery design at Schulzentrum Herbststraße in Vienna is the only vocational training of this kind available in Austria. The college emphasizes the professional training of artistic and creative skills and presented 10 Graduates, most of them working conceptual and highly body related. One of the Graduates is Anna Ries from Vienna. Her work gives an insight into the potential of fat and wrinkles and its positive aspects, as these physical attributes currently appear in our society as undesirable properties.

Anna Riess, Object: Belly bacon, 2018, Aluminum, leather, clasps, 20 x 70 cm, Photo by: Anna Riess

The EASD Valencia presented the work of Natalia Araya. On show were spoons, shaped by hand and enamelled by fire, to let the artist value her own time: The "Spoon theory" is not just the title of her working series, but also a popular technique used by people who have depression or chronic diseases, perfectly describing the notion of limited energy, with each spoons representing a unit of said energy. Natalia Araya is interested in how a daily object can go beyond its function and help visualize a problem, raise awareness of time or release pressure from people who need support.

"Spoon Theory by Natalia Araya.


About the author

Carolin Denter completed her training as Goldsmith at Master School for Craftsmen in Kaiserslautern in 2013. In 2015 she made an Internship at Klimt02, where she is working since 2016 as Content Manager. In 2017 she graduated with Bachelor of Fine Arts in Gemstone and Jewellery at University of Applied Science Trier, Campus Idar-Oberstein. After her graduation, she started working part-time as Marketing and Design management Assistance at Campus Idar-Oberstein in the Gemstone and Jewellery Departement.