I want to keep old knowledge of material and techniques and let it survive another generation. Catarina Hällzon interviewed by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 21.02.2024
Catarina Hällzon Catarina Hällzon
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Klimt02 member Catarina Hällzon shares her vision of contemporary jewelry, driven by her connection with nature and being surrounded by the forest, she takes ancestral crafts and techniques to find her way of expression as an artist.
Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewellery?
For as long as I can remember I have been interested in art and creativity. Throughout my life I have been in different artclasses and artschools. I started with painting and drawing and it was followed by taking on metal with the intention of making big sculptures. But, after the first year of metalworking I found myself working with small objects communicating relations to the body. That is where my interest in the art of jewelry began.

In my pieces I work with a kind of preservation. I constantly collect as life goes on, cataloging my findings in my own way. I pray on techniques that come with my findings and I want to find the essence of them. I want to keep old knowledge of material and techniques and let it survive another generation but I always translate these old traditional techniques into my way of expression.
It is thrilling to think that mankind choosed to adorn herself with trophies from life already 10000 years ago. And since we are keeping that tradition it makes the art and craft of jewellery a fascinating and very exciting form of expression today.

How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
Networking is always important in different aspects. Networking is a way of being part of something. For me, since I am working alone far from my colleagues, networking ranges from just having someone visiting my studio, having a coffee with a colleague to meating a gallerist, a collector or having a talk about my work at an exhibition.
Living as I do, the easiest way of networking is being online. I am active on social media, but I can always improve. The Internet also provides me with access to places I would have trouble going to. I can listen to a talk being held anywhere, I can get a glimpse of exhibitions online and I can participate in meetings at home.

Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication?
I live in the countryside, so at this moment most of my communication is digital. Technology to me means that the world can come to me, I don't always have to go to the world. I don't have to live and work in a city or near a school. To me it is freedom. My work itself is very much non tech, it is based on craft tradition made by hand. Most of my materials I collect as life goes on. I fish, eat the fish and tan the skins before making jewelry out of them. I go out and dig for the roots I need in my pieces, getting my hands dirty. The technology comes in when the work is finished.
So technology is a very important tool I use as a framework of my profession but after the pieces are done.

How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
I constantly find new ways of developing and deepening my work. I have found a way of working with my process that really suits me. I deepen my work and that is giving me new ways of showing my work, and it is exciting. Some years ago I moved from a big City to the forest and since then my work has become more direct and focused and I really appreciate living and working like this.