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These local, daily interactions underpin my work, bathing me in beauty and life, supporting me in communicating themes which are universal and across time. Kim Nogueira interviewed by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 08.10.2019
Kim Nogueira Kim Nogueira
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2019
Kim Nogueira. Collar: Axis Mundi, 2019. Silver, 24k, copper, vitreous enamel.. Each bead approx: 2 x 3.8 x 4.5 cm; L: 50 cm. Photo by: William Stelzer. From series: East of Hercules. Kim Nogueira
Collar: Axis Mundi, 2019
Silver, 24k, copper, vitreous enamel.
Each bead approx: 2 x 3.8 x 4.5 cm; L: 50 cm
Photo by: William Stelzer
From series: East of Hercules
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
I don’t think wearability is important in contemporary jewelry, and this is what I love about it ... This takes you away for a brief time, from accepted norms, and makes you question for a moment, ideally longer. Any exercise in thinking that has people questioning the status quo is a good thing, especially if it is connected to the act of creation.
 What's local and universal in your artistic work?
The foundation of my artistic practice is deeply tied to the local, the ground beneath my feet, the constant movement, color, sound and miracle of survival around me, keeping me always in the moment. Birds sing and I listen, frogs clamor and gratingly croak and I listen, a kestrel on a wire drops a feather to me and I pick it up and put it in my hair, the mystery of the disappearing orchid blossoms and passionfruit flowers is solved, and the culprit is a neon-green juvenile iguana. These local, daily interactions underpin my work, bathing me in beauty and life, supporting me in communicating themes which are universal and across time.
There is a singular local material making its way into some of my work:  while destroying the island, hurricane Irma thrust a large segment of warped copper guttering into my yard and I am using it in my enamel work.


What do you expect when you show your work to the public (for example, with an exhibition)?
I think some of what happens when looking at the juxtapositioning of imagery and text on my work occurs on a subconscious level, so what matters to me is just that people look at it. Beyond that, I hope for unexpected connections to be made in the viewer’s mind, for curiosity to arise about themselves: who are they? For them to attain a deeper awareness of the miracles around them (and observe that they are one as well), for their imagination to swell, for them to revel in the as-yet-unrevealed (perhaps never-to-be) parts of themselves and look around both outwardly and inward for breadcrumbs that may lead to epiphanies and revelations.
Ultimately it is about replacing old paradigms that are no longer working, and for this we need imagination, self-awareness and trust in the unknown.


How important is the handmade for you in your development? What role does technics and technology play in your development?
Basic ubiquitous technology is essential: for the internet research that I do, for access to text and imagery from the historical record which encrusts my jewelry, and for the enameling and transfer process. These are such useful tools, and fairly low-tech as far as tech goes, but in the end, that my hands birthed the piece wrestling physically with materials is everything to me. There is something deeply sacred about that interaction.


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?
For mechanical pieces, planning is extensive; often I generate pages and pages of notes. In this case, there is spontaneity in the development of the themes and narrative with the tiny details which are added, but much less so with the basic architecture of the work.

Most of my other work is minimally planned, with maybe a bare outline of an idea. I’ve made some strange mistakes which I felt led to a piece being its best self so I have the feeling that the object will be what it is supposed to be, no matter what I write down ahead of time.
Quotes, snippets from poetry, unusual words, these all populate my notebooks more than design ideas. And sometimes I will come across music in support of them. They surround me with a feeling of something, it’s hard to explain. That multi-dimensional, ineffable feeling is what I try to communicate in my work, and I’ve noticed that my process is lately more about trust, observation and being actively present with an open imagination than anything else.
I actually haven’t had time to ever experiment with material spontaneity and that is something I look forward to exploring.


Are there any other areas besides the jewels present in your work?
For many years I have worked with a licensed avian rehabilitator, welcoming injured birds and orphaned baby birds into my home. It has been an honor to provide supportive care for seagulls, doves, Caribbean tree pigeons, bananaquits, a mangrove cuckoo, hummingbirds, an American plover and a red-tailed hawk and to release them back into the wild. In my work, avian-related  imagery adds nuanced as well as overt layers of meaning to my jewels, and is interlinked with healing throughout:

We are the embodiment of a paradox; we are the wounders and the healers.
/ Linda Hogan


How important is wearability in contemporary jewellery? And in your pieces?
I don’t think wearability is important in contemporary jewelry, and this is what I love about it. It can be a photograph of a chain made of sand or an ice necklace melting on the body or something too huge to wear. This takes you away for a brief time, from accepted norms, and makes you question for a moment, ideally longer. Any exercise in thinking that has people questioning the status quo is a good thing, especially if it is connected to the act of creation.
That being said, my jewelry is wearable. But some of my collectors only display the pieces and don’t actually wear them.


The last work, book, film, city that moved me was…
Paris was dense with magic and history. I cried walking through the Louvre. I am a gluten-free vegan but ate baked goods with joy and abandon after denying myself for a week, eating a cookie there that had to be the best cookie in the world. Even better than mine, which I did not think was possible :)
Book: Benny Shannon’s Antipodes of the Mind.
Movie: After watching Lilya 4-ever, I made the decision to never watch movies again and to spend the time in my studio instead. My eyes tear up just thinking of it and that was several years ago.


Which piece or job gave you more satisfaction?
I have a fascination with vintage and antique magician automata, especially the ones made as toys and in particular one specific tiny enameled magician automaton in a walnut shell made in 1810 that I saw online in 2011. About 4 years ago, after months of study and pages of notes, I made a small vibrantly enameled silver magician of my own in the form of a pendant, measuring about 3 inches high. Turn the tiny crank handle, and a monkey magician would perform a real and true magic trick, making a golden heart appear and then disappear from a minuscule box, whose lid would open and close, revealing either a golden heart or nothing. The back panel was attached with screws, and once inside, there was another panel attached with screws- the floral wall behind the magician. There are more screws but that would give away the secret of the magic trick! I am drawn to old vending machines and incorporated a vending flap at the bottom of the piece, to house several removable figures meaningful to the theme.
It is beyond satisfaction-I am astonished that I made this piece. Perhaps I had help from my long-deceased Uncle Francis the magician, from whom I acquired my middle name.


What is your source to get information?
The internet and books and a yearly class 


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?
Take care of your health-that is the most important thing above all else, don’t just drink iced coffee all day long and nothing else.


Can you describe your personality in 3 words?
Curious, quest(ion)ing, practical.


Can you describe your work in 3 words?
Labyrinthine, wonder/wander, conundrum.
Kim Nogueira. Brooch: Animal Magnetism, 2019. Silver, 24k, copper guttering debris from Hurricane Irma found in my yard after the storm, vitreous enamel.. 5.2 x .5 x 5.4 cm. Photo by: Kim Nogueira. From series: East of Hercules. Kim Nogueira
Brooch: Animal Magnetism, 2019
Silver, 24k, copper guttering debris from Hurricane Irma found in my yard after the storm, vitreous enamel.
5.2 x .5 x 5.4 cm
Photo by: Kim Nogueira
From series: East of Hercules
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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