Monday, October 7, 2013

Paris sojourn

If you are following Earth Butter Studio on Facebook, then you'll know that I am doing an artist residency at the Cite des Arts Internationale in Paris.  I'm staying in a studio flat overlooking the Seine for two whole months!  The purpose for my stay is mainly to study contemporary art jewellery and it is no coincidence that Paris is hosting Circuits Bijoux from September to March 2014, a contemporary art jewellery event in which about 500 contemporary jewellery designers are taking part.  There will be 70 exhibitions, workshops and conferences aiming to highlight the great diversity of today's jewellery scene.  A lot to see in a short period of time!

I'd like to share this definition of jewellery from the Circuits Bijoux catalogue: "Jewellery symbolises dreams, and is the reflection of our innermost selves...the one we willingly display.  A form of identity, a social symbol, sometimes endowed with a magical, religious or even utilitarian force, often sentimental, personal jewellery is a sign."

I visited 5 exhibitions within the first 3 days of my stay in Paris - exhausting but worth the effort.
Exhibition Salon Parures Et Allures:
This exhibition showed work in a variety of materials and it was the use of textiles and thread which caught my attention.  The textile jewellery of Mona Luison is more art than jewellery  - each piece tells a story and I enjoyed listening to her as she explained the concept behind her work.  She uses recycled and donated materials and a variety of methods to construct her jewellery.  Her work is playful, colourful and evokes memories of ones own childhood. Do visit her blog for a visual fest: Mona Luison.

Couleurs Zaouli is a range of textile jewellery of intricate beadwork, dyed fabrics and tiny stitches.  She exhibited at Salon Maison&Objet, a trade show which I'd love to visit one day.

In the same genre of textile and bead work, is the beautiful textile jewellery of Isabelle Molenat.

Exhibition Design Bijoux Suisse at Suisse Pavillon Le Corbusier:
Exciting work by about 30 jewellery designers.  Experimental work pushing the boundaries and in a diverse range of material.  I was so impressed by the excellent craftmanship of the jewellery - a highlight on the exhibition trail so far.

Exhibition De Fer Et D'Acier is in a very unusual setting -  the storage area/collection point at Weber Mateaux, a jewellery supply/metal company where you'll find an astonishing range of wire, metal and jewellery making equipment.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me but found this image of Catherine le Gal's work on the web:

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