- Saskia Van der Gucht
The department pays close attention to jewellery’s underlying purposes and explores their characteristics. By explicitly relating the discipline to social sciences like sociology, theology, material anthropology or ‘design cultures’, students learn how to establish connections between jewellery and current trends in science, economics, culture and society.
A complex and fast-changing world needs people that can handle creative processes. To be able to meet this complexity, it is necessary to be independent, to formulate your own positions and to remain true to yourself. The department is well aware of this reality and that is why it focuses heavily on the development of the students’ identity.
We not only impart an attitude of responsibility and an investigative mindset to students, but we also teach them to trust their instincts. The department believes it is important to stimulate concentration and creativity by means of physical exercises. Movement sharpens the individual’s attention and awareness and as a result, new, unexpected images can almost literally be ‘experienced’. Both the force of intuition and the conscious mobilization of our bodily energy make it possible to open up other, deeper layers of the imagination. The introduction of body and meditation exercises is not only new for the department, but is also exceptional within visual arts education.
For students to be able to respond appropriately to the issues of our times, the department will confront them with the various facets of the discipline in its entirety. The curriculum is intentionally thematic: a team of permanent lecturers determines the content and organization of the curriculum. Several guest lecturers are also involved in each project, whether practitioners or theorists. Through discussion and dialogue, these lecturers stimulate the students’ learning process; they teach them how to connect theory and practice, whereby students literally acquire the theory ‘in their fingers’.
Each project starts out from a specific context. That can be a target group or a social phenomenon, a collaboration with companies or interaction with other disciplines, or it can proceed from the functional or inherent aspects of jewels.
Acquiring new techniques and handling different materials are also part of a project. Technique and material are indissolubly linked to image and content. Making becomes thinking. In this way students also explore technical aspects from the perspective of content, and learn in a short time how to generate ideas and how to realize them.
Students carefully document important stages in the work process by making use of various media such as photography and film. The presentation and documentation of works are developed at length in the conclusion of the project.
Thanks to this thematic methodology, students very naturally link their own design process to different work methods and research strategies. It ultimately involves a ‘total experience’ composed of both reflection and intuition. The training imparts different frameworks, but the student is free to choose. An academic training implies that students find their own criteria and can work independently. This helps develop an open attitude thanks to which graduates can work with others and find their own way in the world.
Speaking Jewellery is the latest research project of the Jewellery Design department of St Lucas Antwerp. Students, lecturers and researchers here explore the communicative qualities of the contemporary jewel. The ‘power of speech’ of a jewel lies hidden in and among all the references that it carries with it. These references make the jewel readable and ensure that it attracts people, from a statement on the catwalk to an atmospheric attribute in a film, from a royal symbol to a magic grave relic.
In contemporary jewellery, references to material, form, wearability, function, value, price, rarity etc. are often overlooked or barely mobilized by the designers themselves. And yet, thanks to jewellery’s long history, these references are familiar to a broad audience. Contemporary social references such as sustainability and ecology are not at all or hardly communicated in a presentable fashion in jewellery or its display. The denial, neglect or omission of these references seems to the researchers to be one of the reasons why contemporary jewellery today is seen as hermetic.
The research project Speaking Jewellery therefore analyses the ‘language’ of jewellery and the references that it has carried with it since time immemorial, and updates them by means of artistic projects. We look at which elements we as researchers can once more deploy to let the jewellery tell a story about itself and its genesis, its manufacturing process and its meaning. How can we let the jewel ‘speak’ again? In each artistic project, the research team turns the spotlight on an archetype from the history of jewellery.
Liesbet Bussche, Hilde De Decker, Hilde Van der Heyden, Pia Clauwaert
Click here for more information about the research.
TeachersDepartment head: Saskia Van der Gucht
Lecturers: Hilde De Decker (jewellery design) | Hilde Van der Heyden (jewellery design) | Max Gielis (technical assistant) | Lex Pott (product design) | Liesbet Bussche (researcher) | Liesbeth Den Besten (history of jewellery)
Visiting lecturers: (Esther Knobel (IL) | Evert Nijland (NL) | Yuka Oyama (JP) | Christoph Zellweger (CH) | Gijs Assmann (NL) | Erik Mattijssen (NL) | Sayaka Yamamoto (JP) | Boaz Cohen (IL) | Boy Vereecken (BE) | Vera Siemund (DE) | Dinie Besems (NL) | Guy Cuypers (BE) | Ruudt Peters (NL) | Pieter Boons (BE) | Tatjana Quax (NL) | Helen Carnac (UK) | David Clarke (UK) | Theo Smeets (NL) | Barbara Visser (NL) | Gemma Draper (ES) | Lin Cheung (UK) | Annick Schramme (BE) | Benjamin Lignel (FR) | Ola Lanko (UA, NL) | Margit Didelez (BE) | Naomi Filmer (UK) | Beatrice Brovia & Nicolas Cheng (SE)
Lectures 26 Feb 2019 - 26 Feb 2019 What is Success? Evening lecture with Benjamin Lignel and Liesbeth den Besten.
Lectures 27 Nov 2018 - 27 Nov 2018 Masterclass Every Letter Is a Love Letter and lecture by Marge Monko.
Exhibition 15 Jul 2018 - 08 Sep 2018 Next Generation.
Meeting 01 Jul 2018 - 01 Jul 2018 Round Table 4: Performing Jewellery.
Exhibition 28 Jun 2018 - 01 Jul 2018 St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp. MA Degree Show 2018.
Lectures 27 Feb 2018 - 27 Feb 2018 Lecture by Mah Rana.
Workshop 26 Feb 2018 - 02 Mar 2018 People Skills, a masterclass by Mah Rana.
Exhibition 08 Feb 2018 - 17 Mar 2018 From Walter to Valerie.
Exhibition 30 Jun 2017 - 02 Jul 2017 Sint Lucas Antwerp. BA Degree Show 2017.
Exhibition 28 Jun 2017 - 09 Jul 2017 St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp. MA Degree Show 2017.
Exhibition 25 Jun 2016 - 10 Jul 2016 Sint Lucas Antwerp. Graduation Degree Show 2016.
Workshop 07 Dec 2015 - 11 Dec 2015 Mouth by Naomi Filmer.
Meeting 26 Nov 2015 - 27 Nov 2015 Integrated 2015.
Exhibition 13 Aug 2015 - 29 Aug 2015 Time Related.
Meeting 19 May 2015 - 24 May 2015 Triple Parade.
Meeting 26 Nov 2014 - 26 Nov 2014 Atlas Drawings. A conversation between Mira Sanders, Kasper Andreasen and Sofie Van Loo.
Exhibition 17 Oct 2014 - 27 Oct 2014 Travellers on the Earth.
Exhibition 24 Jun 2014 - 30 Jul 2014 Make Me Party.
Workshop 24 Mar 2014 - 28 Mar 2014 Benjamin Lignel: Masterclass.
Workshop 18 Feb 2013 - 22 Feb 2013 Annick Schramme: Cultural entrepreneurship.
Meeting 05 Feb 2013 - 05 Feb 2013 Benjamin Lignel: Confrontations 2013/3.
Workshop 04 Feb 2013 - 08 Feb 2013 Benjamin Lignel : You are now leaving Switzerland Workshop.
Meeting 06 Nov 2012 - 06 Nov 2012 Marcel van Kan and Lucia Massei: Confrontations 2012-2013 |1.
Workshop 24 Apr 2012 - 27 Apr 2012 Lin Cheung: Without You I Am Nothing.
Workshop 27 Feb 2012 - 02 Mar 2012 Hilde Van der Heyden and Theo Smeets: 100 Carats, Fatal Transactions.
Meeting 16 Feb 2012 - 16 Feb 2012 Barbara Visser and Gemma Draper: Confrontations 2012/1.
Workshop 15 Feb 2012 - 17 Mar 2012 Barbara Visser: Re-Presentation.
Workshop 13 Feb 2012 - 17 Feb 2012 Gemma Draper: Present.
Book presentation 19 Jan 2012 - 19 Feb 2012 Launch of the book VORMAT.
School of Jewellery. Birmingham City UniversityBirmingham, United Kingdom
Le Arti OrafeFlorence, Italy
St Lucas School of Arts AntwerpAntwerp, Belgium
Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. Artesis Plantijn University CollegeAntwerp, Belgium
Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery SchoolFlorence, Italy
Shanghai Academy of Fine ArtsShanghai, China
Academy of International Visual ArtsShanghai, China
K2 Academy of Contemporary Jewellery LtdLondon, United Kingdom
Hochschule TrierIdar Oberstein, Germany
Cranbrook Academy of ArtBloomfield Hills, United States
Assamblage Contemporary Jewelry SchoolBucharest, Romania
HDK. Academy of Design and CraftsGothenburg, Sweden
Design WerkstattFreiburg, Germany
IED Istituto Europeo di DesignMilan, Italy
College of Design and Innovation, Tong Ji UniversityShanghai, China