Filippine de Haan: Answers to the interview Market, lies and websites.

Interview  /  Debates   Artists   CriticalThinking   FilippineDeHaan
Published: 03.01.2007
Filippine de Haan Filippine de Haan
Edited by:
Edited at:
Edited on:

I know of almost no artist that can survive without teaching - or another kind of job I don’t think it is only a matter of money, but also a matter of response.
>> Answers to the interview Market, lies and websites: Klimt02 versus Klimt02 (Part 1)

Is contemporary jewellery a restricted matter of a small group of people?
Yes, if you talk about ‘artistic’ jewellery I think that is very much so.

The relationship between jewellers and art galleries is of mutual necessity, but the jeweller seems to be dissatisfied. When must the jeweller consider a new relationship? Why don’t new alternatives emerge? Is it perhaps the incapacity to reach a new agreement or is it just that deep down jewellers have adapted to things as are now?
I think a lot of artists are craftsmen in the sense that they make very labour-intensive handcrafted work. The market for that kind of products is generally limited. We often want the gallery to be an impossible combination of a salesperson for our product and a conservator for our artistic ideas.

There are a couple of different roads though, we for some reasons often avoid:
- The commercial road: create for already existing firms
- The autonomous road: make objects totally independently
- The design road: Try to figure out how to produce your object in a series and make a product of it.

In my own gallery, the artists are making a model for negotiating with the gallery.
That might help.
I think before entering the gallery it is important to know what the intentions are of that gallery. Waiting for the galleries to become your sort of person isn’t wise. If there is a need for other ways of presenting jewellery, it is up to us.

In the free information age, Internet, gallery owners have lost their power situation as anyone has access to all kind of information that had been treasured as if it was gold dust. When will we believe that we are the only ones that can make possible a change? Is it perhaps, the responsibility that each one has the only way of changing some situations?
I wish it was true. But a lot of jewellery-people make scarcely use of the Internet. More and more jewellery is bought by the Internet though. But that is another kind of jewellery with a very different audience. I would love to set up something, even without the prospect of earning from it. The gallery can keep it is gold dust.
The jewellery buyers, in our area, are very much gallery-related, like people that have their own pub. Of course, they could find information about a jewellery exposition on the net, even buy a once or twice a necklace or ring from the net, but that doesn’t change their fondness of their own gallery.
And I don’t think it’s the gallery its responsibility to change the audience. Neither should they stand in the artist’s way when searching around for a different audience.

We are waiting for a saviour, to save us from our ills; a person who stands up for us while we are lagging behind. When will we realize that in order to achieve these changes we will have to start making decisions and changing attitudes?

Is it a question of professionalism?
No, I rather say a matter of time fashion and need.

We accept the established order, but we do not agree with it… What’s wrong?
That is exactly what is wrong.

Contemporary jewellery moves in a rather limited market, for many reasons including the fact that it does not move a large amount of money. The issue would be to enlarge this market… but, how can we do it?
I don’t know. Painters often have to buy for a gallery space. We are not the worst of. I know of almost no artist that can survive without teaching- or another kind of job I don’t think it is only a matter of money, but also a matter of expectations. There are different ways to stimulate contemporary ‘art’ jewellery
In the Netherlands, money is provided to people so they have time to develop their art-work. The strange thing is the moment the ability to make interesting material grows, the expectations grow too. In America, contemporary jewellery is still much more a craft-related art form. I think for them to have more time to just develop their work would be already a luxury. They don’t even consider an audience like we do in Europe.

Why is contemporary jewellery not so well known?
Because it is badly defined, often not wearable, or cheaper and prettier at the nearest warehouse.

How is the market? If I sell, would that be enough for me?
If that is enough for you, run away from your gallery right now.

Is the internet a solution? Should we pay for it?
Not a solution, Not an alternative.
It is another medium with its own interesting possibilities, and we should consider these possibilities very seriously.

I think paying for it is in contrast to what people expect from the internet: Easy access, free and different, immaterial.
Contribution or viewing fees are attractive for the people who work and create for the internet. It is very time-absorbing work (I know this very well).
Sponsoring might be a more realistic option. People won’t pay for the internet unless you offering them some real gold dust in their mailbox...

About the Interviewee

Filippine de Haan
Dutch Jewellery Designer.