The Role of the Crafts Councils in the development of the arts and crafts worldwide by CONTEMPORANIA Barcelona

Article  /  Fairs   BehindTheScenes   Exhibiting   Curating
Published: 19.09.2023
The Role of the Crafts Councils in the development of the arts and crafts worldwide by CONTEMPORANIA Barcelona.
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Artwork by Rosa Cortiella from Artesania Catalunya.
Artwork by Rosa Cortiella from Artesania Catalunya

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Arts and crafts have been a reflection of society's feelings, behaviour, and beliefs, since the beginning of times. It helps us to understand different cultures and their way of life, to express our feelings through natural materials, and to explore the boundaries of the human mind and capabilities, by learning about the arts and crafts of other cultures, we can gain a better understanding of the world around us.
This is the work of the Crafts Council of each country, under the leadership of The World Crafts Council, in preserving and promoting the work of craftspeople and their connection to society, and as part of the first edition of Contemporania, we will have the participation of 30 artists representing the leading institutions worldwide.
Europe will be represented by The World Crafts Council Europe, the main institution that promotes, enhances, and develops the craft sector in Europe. 10 artists from different countries, selected for their exceptional level of craftsmanship and creativity, will tell the story of contemporary European craft nowadays through a collection of materials, high-end techniques and different crafts backgrounds.
Artwork by Zoe Hillyard from The World Crafts Council Europe

In addition, The World Crafts Council Africa will present for the first time in Spain the works of 3 artists, following its mission to promote craft and industry by helping its members to improve their productivity, explore markets and introduce them to the international scene. It also acts as a liaison between its members and African governments and international non-governmental organizations for international recognition.

Artwork by Mahmoud Abdrabboh from The World Crafts Council Africa

The national scene will be represented by the most important institutions. Since 1981, Fundesarte has been the leading organization for the promotion and development of crafts in Spain. It is currently part of the Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI), a public foundation affiliated to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. This year, they were the organizers of the selection and representation of Spain as a guest country at the Cheongju Craft Biennale 2023 under the "Soul + Matter" exhibition. At Contemporania, the work of six renowned artists will be presented under the curatorship of Ruben Torres.

Artwork by Riba Vilardell from Fundesarte

Jorgc (Col·legi Oficial de Joiers, d’Orfebres, de Rellotgers i de Gemmòlegs de Catalunya) will be representing the jewelers field by the work of 7 of the most relevant Catalan jewelers, as well the work of the institution to promote the work of the artists.

Artwork by Lluís Comin from Col·legi Oficial de Joiers, d’Orfebres, de Rellotgers i de Gemmòlegs de Catalunya

As an organizer and representing the work of the Catalans artists, The Consortium of Commerce, Crafts and Fashion of Catalonia (CCAM) will present the excellence of Catalan craftsmanship by a group of artisans who come from an international circuit at the 2021-2022 Biennial Visions of Catalonia: Crafting Art, Homo Faber in Venice and the Revelations fair in Paris.  One of the main aims of the CCAM is to promote the image and social prestige, disseminate, and preserve the value of heritage, improve competitiveness and profitability, and increase the international and digital presence of the crafts sector through commercial, cultural, educational, and informative promotion activities, such as the Congrés professional d'artesania 2023: "El món del luxe reivindica l'alta artesania". Prescriptors, mercats i connectors.

Artwork by Carme Conell from Artesania Catalunya

High craftsmanship represents excellence and invites reflection and dialogues with design and art. The world of luxury seeks, needs, and defends high craftsmanship, whether in design, fashion, experiences, window displays, gastronomy, museums or the design of public and domestic spaces.
Brands, projects, and luxury initiatives are constantly and endlessly searching for the quality, perfection, and exclusivity of craftsmanship. It is for this reason that, in the framework of the 3rd edition of the Professional Congress of Crafts, we want to deepen on the world of luxury from the prescribers and key agents to give light, ideas and possibilities to promote the craft business, by the hand of a complete panel of experts like Tachy mora (journalist), Adrian Salvador (art director), Rubén Torres (gallerist and curator of the Craft Biennale).

In the words of 2 of the organizers of the congress together with the CCAM, Francesca Tur Serra (Tendencias TV), says that In a hyper-technological context where times are accelerating, we find more and more proposals that celebrate the handmade, excessive care and delicate creativity. From the agents that make up the artisan ecosystem and from the projects and brands that are positioned within luxury. This is where the need to build bridges that connect high luxury with high craftsmanship emerges and this is where the 3rd Professional Crafts Congress of Catalonia is positioned.  As a space for conversation from which to share points of view, expertise and ways of empowering high craftsmanship today, because luxury needs it more than ever.

Artwork by Xiaoyu Bai from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute

For Adriana Campo, founder of Labois, luxury has always been an engine of innovation, creativity and research, just like craftsmanship. That is why their relationship is innate, luxury without craftsmanship (whether product or even service) would not be luxury. Personalization, excellence and placing the person at the centre, both the creator and the consumer, generate a personal relationship between object and user intrinsic in craftsmanship. But what is luxury today? The new luxury focuses on time, space, silence and well-being. That is why more and more brands are quietly moving towards this new luxury where craftsmanship is the factor to be called luxury. Understanding this relationship, how they collaborate and how the artisan can meet the luxury and the luxury to the artisan, is the reason for this 3rd Professional Congress of Craftsmanship.
All this is in collaboration with the Michelangelo Foundation, a non-profit institution based in Geneva which champions contemporary craftspeople worldwide with the aim of promoting a more human, inclusive, and sustainable future. The foundation seeks to highlight the connections between craft, the wider arts, and the design world. Its mission is to both celebrate and preserve craftsmanship and its diversity of makers, materials, and techniques, by increasing the craft’s everyday recognition and its viability as a professional path for the next generations.
The Michelangelo Foundation will present its signature project: Homo Faber Guide, a unique digital platform launched in 2020 which connects users with an international craft community of over 2200 talented artisans from 45 countries in Europe and beyond. Newly selected artisans appear weekly and new countries are added every three months.
Since this first edition, we have partnered with the LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize to promote and work collaboratively to develop the art of craftsmanship worldwide through Contemporania. The craft prize seeks to acknowledge and support international artisans whose work reinterprets existing knowledge and makes it relevant for today, whilst simultaneously reflecting its maker’s personal language and distinct hand, also a showcase of the evolving contribution of craft to the culture of our times, you will find more information about the next submission at the fair.

Artwork by Eriko Inazaki from LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize 2023