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Rosy Greenlees, Joya 2018 Jury Member interviewed by Klimt02

Interview  /  Joya2018   Exhibiting   Fairs   Curating   CarolinDenter
Published: 15.05.2018
Rosy Greenlees Rosy Greenlees
Author:
Klimt02, Carolin Denter
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2018
Collect 2017 London.
Collect 2017 London

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
JOYA Barcelona is the main art jewellery and art objects event in Spain. Gathering a great number of independent artists as well as related organizations, schools and other entities, JOYA  prepares to present excellence and innovation in contemporary art.

JOYA 2018 will happen in October and with the 10th edition taking place, we speak to the Jury Members about changes to traditional art buying and selling, the impact of art and jewellery fairs, and why JOYA is a melting pot of artistic talent. In this first interview, we spoke to Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council since 2006. 
 

Rosy has served on various advisory bodies including the Bristol and Bath Design Research Project, the Skills Commission; and was a board member of CC Skills. Currently  she is President of the World Crafts Council, a member of the Creative Industries Council and sits on the University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design Faculty Advisory Board. Rosy is a Fellow of the RSA and received an Honorary Fellowship from Arts University Bournemouth in 2015.


 
  • Contemporary jewellery is particularly interesting in the way that conceptual ideas are expressed through the medium and in this way can be viewed as adornment, statement and as an object. 



With the globalization of the art market, the number of art fairs has exploded: In 2005, there were 68 international art fairs, expanding to 220 in 2014, growing to 270 Fairs in 2016, according to Artnet. The classic art market model from about 10 years ago, based on transactions in galleries, is increasingly governed by the model of art fairs. The audience has access to a wide range of works gathered under one roof, which is useful in a market that’s globalized and where people are rushed to see a maximum number of works in a minimum amount of time. How do you experience changes in the art market caused by art fairs and which value do you see in them?
Fairs are a really good way of both providing a snapshot and showcase of what is interesting and current in a particular field. For Collect the Crafts Council’s own international fair it brings international galleries to London which would otherwise not be seen in the UK and opens up new markets for them.  The financial value is extremely important in generating sales for both British and international galleries.  At the same time it presents British audiences with work they would not otherwise have exposure to.  Showing the work collectively in a single venue is enormously satisfying in demonstrating the high quality of the work but also the difference between countries and styles. Whilst I use Collect as an example I think the benefits are similar for all fairs.  The Crafts Council has also taken artists who don’t have a commercial gallery to international fairs in places such as Miami, Dubai and Basel and this has enabled them to increase their profile, build their networks and contacts and ultimately gain commissions, exhibitions and sales. None of this would happen without the network of fairs we have.
 

Looking at the fairs specialized in jewellery, we have to make a difference between juried fairs and fairs you can buy into. How do you see the role of juried fairs as JOYA in the art world?
Juried fairs are extremely important in setting the standard for high quality jewellery.  They ensure that the buying public is given the best work to view and potentially acquire. Creating a benchmark for quality work is crucial to ensure both the critical success of such work but also its economic value.  Juried fairs will also potentially select work which is more challenging and in this way both ensure exposure for such work but also encourage its purchase.  Non-juried fairs are driven by the economic need to sell exhibition space and may be far less concerned with the range of diversity of work on display or indeed its artistic excellence.
 

With the effort to innovate in every edition, this year JOYA has been moved from Santa Monica Arts Centre to Disseny Hub Barcelona an open, innovative and experimental municipal facility close to the city center of Barcelona. Where do you see new challenges and possibilities for the fair and its organizers according to this change?
Any change of venue brings both opportunities and challenges.  A change in venue can refresh a fair even with the same galleries.  The work and the fair looks fresh and new and this can be very important because visitors become accustomed to venues and a new look means they notice things they may have overlooked. In this way they may well experience work they have already seen as new and indeed perhaps change their view or buy a work.  The challenge is ensuring that the audiences are aware of the venue change and organisers make is easy for them to visit.  There can be uncertainty and concern from both exhibitors and the clients that the new location will not be as good or suitable as the previous venue. It is important to explain why the fair is moving and what the benefits are.  I am looking forward to seeing JOYA in its new home which sounds very exciting. 
 

Since 2006, you are working as Executive Director for the Crafts Council in UK. As a national organisation, promoting the value of "craft and making" to society, the Crafts Council has supported thousands of makers through its talent development programs and organised many exhibitions. Regarding being part of the Jury for JOYA 2018 you are responsible of selecting participants by the criteria of originality and innovation of designs, concept, material use, craftsmanship and coherence under a theme or research line. Please explain to us your current tasks at the Craft council, and how your professional experience as well as your curatorial past is influencing you during the selective judging process. What will you, personally, looking for in particular?
Whilst my current role is more about running an organisation and promoting its work I have a background in curating and of course in my role as both Executive Director of the Crafts Council and as President of the World Crafts Council I spend an enormous amount of time seeing work and discussing it. I have am frequently invited to sit on selection panels and only recently have been a selector for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize in the UK and the Loewe Craft Prize. I am always looking for a combination of technical skill, material expertise combined with innovation and creative excellence. I want to see that a makers’ voice is strong, original and authentic. These are the things I look for. 
 

Regarding to your work as Executive Director at the Crafts Council, you can get a good view on different fields of arts and crafts. What impression do you get on Contemporary Jewellery?
Contemporary jewellery is a very exciting area because it combines the personal and political.  Unlike for example, ceramics or glass which are object based, jewellery is about making innovative, beautiful, challenging and exciting objects which then must work with the body.  This adds a further layer of interest and complexity.  It is also not bound by a single medium so the range is enormously wide from recycled materials and plastics through to more conventional gold, silver and gemstones.  Contemporary jewellery is particularly interesting in the way that conceptual ideas are expressed through the medium and in this way can be viewed as adornment, statement and as an object. 

 

About the Interviewed


Rosy Greenlees, OBE, has been Executive Director of the Crafts Council since 2006.  A national organisation promoting the value of craft and making to society, the Crafts Council has supported thousands of makers through its talent development programmes; brings high quality craft to an annual audience of over 3 million through its exhibitions, Collection and events; and leads a national campaign for re-instating craft education in schools.
 
Rosy spent her early career as a curator in regional galleries and on major public art projects before taking on senior management roles as Head of Visual Arts and Media and Deputy Chief Executive at Eastern Arts Board; Cultural Strategy Manager responsible for the Mayor of London’s first culture strategy; and founder Director of the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Enterprise, a HEI partnership, now known as the Culture Capital Exchange.
 
Rosy has served on various advisory bodies including the Bristol and Bath Design Research Project, the Skills Commission; and was a board member of CC Skills.  Currently she is President of the World Crafts Council, a member of the Creative Industries Council and sits on the University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design Faculty Advisory Board.  Rosy is a Fellow of the RSA and received an Honorary Fellowship from Arts University Bournemouth in 2015.
 
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