04-02-2016 | By

Designers to Watch

Munich Jewellery Week

With attentions predominantly focussed on Fashion Week, you might be forgiven for letting events that lie outside of the direct fashion sphere pass you by. However, some opportunities are just too good to let slide, such as Munich Jewellery Week 2016, taking place from February 24th until March 1st in collaboration with Current Obsessions Magazine. Here are a few of the designers we think you should be keeping your eyes peeled for:

Alessa Joosten

Düsseldorf based Alessa Joosten places emphasis on experimental practice, blurring boundaries between creative media, often implementing unorthodox materials and techniques. Her work is bold, brazen even, yet stops shy of obnoxiousness, in part due to it’s refinement, but mostly due to a conceptual underpinning that allows for her work to be read in immediately relevant sociological contexts, encouraging active reflection, questioning and consideration.

Highlights of her work would surely include pieces from the “plane veneer curved” series, with knotted Möbius bands of pliable wooden strips. Preconceptions of physical properties are thereby abstracted, as typically rigid wood takes a form of infinite fluidity, thus revealing new horizons of potential. Similar in it’s questioning of perception is Joosten’s ‘beauty mask’, inspired by the Marquardt Beauty Analysis Mask, a 2D projection used to measure facial symmetry, a supposedly quantifiable measure of beauty. Joosten’s interpretation takes form in a wearable 3D printed version of the mask, which, when viewed front-on is perfectly symmetrical, but warps and abstracts when perceived from different angles. Beauty’s fragility, immeasurability and subjectivity are held to light, alongside a brutal condemnation of the two-dimensional superficiality of any advocacy of an objective standard.alessa joosten beauty-mask-4 Munich Jewellery Weekvia Lukas WennigerMunich Jewellery Week maske_alessa_2via Lukas WennigerMunich Jewellery Weekalessa joosten beauty-mask-5via Lukas WennigerMunich Jewellery Week plane-veneer-curved-1via Tamara HansenMunich Jewellery Week planecurvedvia Tamara HansenMunich Jewellery Week cuttings-4.1via Lukas WennigerMunich Jewellery Week arc-1 alessa joostenvia Lukas Wenniger

Central Saint Martins – “Shelf Life”

What is perhaps the world’s most respected creative educational establishment offers “Shelf Life”, an exhibition from the students and staff of London’s Central Saint Martins focussing on the contrasting nuances of ‘shelving’, a term that encompasses notions of pride, order and disguise.

Among an unfathomably talented crop, one stands out: recent graduate Fan Sze Fiona Li. With stern textural austerity and a keen sense of wit peppering her work, Li takes tropes of masculine utility, brass clipped braces for example, and incorporates them into earrings, necklaces and braces, thereby interrogating the intersection between the utilitarian purposes of ‘masculine’ accessories and the purely decorative capacities of those considered ‘feminine’. Carabiners in pumice grey concrete textures are enlarged to bangles, while pink suede braces with near-garish golden clips are blown up to serve as dangling earrings, alongside pairs made of lustrous freshwater pearls.Fan Sze Fiona Li Munich Jewellery Week 3Fan Sze Fiona Li via Marek ChorzepaFan Sze Fiona Li Munich Jewellery Week 2Fan Sze Fiona Li via Marek Chorzepa
Fan Sze Fiona Li Munich Jewellery Week 7Fan Sze Fiona Li via Marek Chorzepa

Fiona Kakei Chong 1Fiona Kakei Chong via Curissa ChengFiona Kakei Chong 2Fiona Kakei Chong via Curissa ChengMayu Ren Ishii Brides of Christ 1Ren Kurosawa via Mikako MitaniMayu Ren Ishii Brides of Christ 2Ren Kurosawa via Mikako MitaniHolly Kate Mathewson 1Holly Kate MathewsonHolly Kate Mathewson 2Holly Kate Mathewson

Hanna Hedman

Marked by intricacy and sculptural awareness, the works of Swedish contemporary jewellery artist Hanna Hedman are not to be passed by. Treading the lines between jewellery and art, Hedman’s work is perhaps as indefinable as her subject matter, evoking the raw atypicalities of beauty, showcasing the moving potential of the dissonant and the macabre.

Her forays into jewellery began in childhood, “breaking [her] mother’s necklaces and reassembling them into what [she] believed were better visions.” Hedman’s jewellery has continued down this track, much of it composed of varying fragments of geometrical shapes and abstract forms superimposed onto one another. Voluminous necklaces are an assembly of disparate natural references, flowers and claw-like motifs among them, crafted in tarnished, often perforated, metals. Strength and fragility are juxtaposed, revealing the essential paradox at the heart of an object deemed beautiful.Art jewellery by Hanna Hedman Art jewellery by Hanna Hedman 65_hemsida Hanna Hedman 65_img9204 Hanna HedmanAll images via Sanna Lindberg

Marit van Heumen

Perhaps similar in her approach to jewellery creation is Maastricht-based artist Marit van Heumen, tackling the essential dichotomies of power and fragility alongside the phenomena surrounding an object-wearer relationship in her work. Yet in opposition to Hedman’s often frenetic, raw reflections of natural ephemera, van Heumen adopts an altogether more streamlined approach. With “making certainties uncertain” the driving force behind her work, she takes simple elements of design to highlight quintessential, though often overlooked realities that draw attention to the omni-present deficiencies and strengths that litter the human condition.

In a particularly captivating piece, “Being worn like gravity”, van Heumen evaluates the strength and fragility of the body, a metaphor of which takes shape in a weighty concave ceramic disc applied to the wearer’s shoulder and held in place by a thin metal chain around the neck. The weight of the disc distorts the physical composure of the wearer, throwing the shoulders out of their usual equilibrium. Just as the once strong stance of the wearer is disfigured, or broken, by the gravitational force exerted by the piece, attention is called to the fragility of the ceramic of which it is composed. Its fall at the hands of an invisible force would result in it’s shattering into countless pieces, with only the fine chain preventing it from meeting it’s fate.Marit van Heumen 1 Marit van Heumen 2

For more info on locations and timetabling and a host of other unfathomably talented young designers, head here!

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