Improvising is natural to me. Interview with Gislaine Ribeiro by Klimt02

Published: 25.06.2021
Gislaine Ribeiro Gislaine Ribeiro
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Gislaine Ribeiro. Necklace: Capitulum, 2019. Copper, brass, paint, steel, recycled plastic from grocery bags.. 7 x 4 x 38 cm. Photo by: Milton Jesus. From series: The things on the floor. Gislaine Ribeiro
Necklace: Capitulum, 2019
Copper, brass, paint, steel, recycled plastic from grocery bags.
7 x 4 x 38 cm
Photo by: Milton Jesus
From series: The things on the floor
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Handmade is challenging because we have to materialize an idea that exists in another dimension. It demands courage, technical knowledge, diligence, and perseverance.
Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewelry?
I grew up drawing and painting, so graduating in Visual Arts followed a natural process. Many masters, artists, and teachers influenced me. After having worked professionally in Graphic Design for over 30 years, I sought jewelry in order to take a break from computer graphics in a virtual context to work with my hands in a more real and material environment. 

How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
Networking is vital to be known, exchange experiences, keep myself active and up-to-date. For this, I use the Internet and social media. I also make contact with art gallery owners, friends, teachers, and professionals in the area. 

What are your general thoughts on the contemporary jewelry world (education on, market, development ...); where do you see chances, and where are dead ends?
From my experience here in Brazil, we are still at the beginning with regard to the education of jewelers, to communication about the area and the arts in general. The market shows a tendency to be conservative therefore, there is little room for exhibitions, promotion and sale of contemporary jewelry. However, I think it is possible to expand this view or mentality if we invest more in education for arts, technology, and communication through discussion and study groups.

Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artstic development and communication?
Their role is essential. The technological revolution has brought, in addition to 3D software and its increasingly sophisticated printers, non-fungible tokens, the so-called NFTs, through which we will be able to create and sell our work in digital form. NFT is a more affordable tool, a universe of new possibilities for artists, and I see myself taking part in it. 

How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
I still consider myself a beginner in jewelry, but I intend to try the 3D tools to carry out more complex projects. I will not abandon the artisanal work, but I long to go beyond my limits.  

What’s local and universal in your artistic work? 
I would call local the use of some themes related to the Brazilian countryside and to my origins, universal is my constant search for originality, although impossible, and for beauty. 

Gislaine Ribeiro, Brooch: Princess, 2021, Copper, clay, paint, steel, 5.8 Ø x 5.3 cm, Photo by: Milton Jesus, From series: The things on the floor

What do you expect when you show your work to the public (for example, with an exhibition)?
I expect to catch their eyes. 

How important is the handmade for you in your development? What role do techniques and technology play in your development?
Handmade is challenging because we have to materialize an idea that exists in another dimension. It demands courage, technical knowledge, diligence, and perseverance.
It is difficult to create something in the real world, and this makes a difference today.
Techniques and technology are vital to materialize the forms I create in my mind or on the paper. Without techniques and technology, there would not exist the concrete objects nor the jewels as we know them, only the virtual and the digital work.
During the project phase we write, we sketch, we draw, we photograph, we make 3D models by hand or on the computer. We employ silversmithing techniques, collage, etc., besides several materials to make jewelry. The technical knowledge and the use of tools enable our ideas to materialize. Far beyond the ideas, technique, and technology legitimize us as artists. 

When you start making a new piece what is your process? How much of it is a pre-formulated plan and how much do you let the material spontaneity lead you?
Often, a new piece can emerge from a random image, a quote, an abstract theme, a new material, or a part of something. When I start from a theme, I tend to elaborate a lot before designing and building. However, improvising is natural to me, and I use this resource on many occasions, which results in changes to the project along the way. 

Are there any other areas besides the jewels present in your work? 
Drawing, Architecture, Geometry, Painting, Sculpture, Art History, Biology, Psychology, and some philosophical concepts. 

How important is wearability in contemporary jewelry? And in your pieces? 
I think of my jewelry as art objects too, therefore the wearability is not a priority for me. I see a lot of jewelry from different jewelers which I would either put on my chest or hang on the wall. 

Gislaine Ribeiro, Necklace: Vessel, 2021, Copper, brass, clay, paint, silicon,11.5 x 8.5 x 45 cm, Photo by: Milton Jesus, From series: The things on the floor

The last work, book, lm, city that moved me was... 
The Ted Talk “Design at the Intersection of Technology and Biology”, by Neri Oxman. 

What/who is the biggest influence in your career? 
Ernest Haeckel. 

Which piece or job gave you more satisfaction? 
The brooch AKROÁSIS for its difficult execution, the employment of unusual material, and the outcome. 

What is your source to get information? 
My sources are books, the Internet, exhibitions, courses/workshops, and lectures. 

Considering the experiences you have had over the years – if you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice for the start-up phase, what would that be?
I still consider myself a beginner in artistic jewelry, but if I could go back a few years and had the opportunity to advise myself, I would say: learn from experienced artists from other areas, like sculptors, mixed media artists, and artisans. 

Can you describe your personality in 3 words? Describe your work in 3 words. 
Perfectionist, generous, inquisitive.
Diverse, aesthetic, experimental.