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Exhibition view – INVISIBLE by Lumy Nouguez

On 11 November 2016, Lumy Nouguez opened her solo show INVISIBLE, featuring the collection realized during the MFA program of Alchimia.

The exhibition was articulated as a treasure hunt, with a starting and end point in a yoga-studio turned exhibition venue while most pieces where spread in a variety of spaces united by the creative and experimental approach to their discipline: an antiquaire, two concept stores, a hair dresses, a fashion and a glasses shop. San Frediano neighborhood at its best. The craft and the love for a discipline whatever that may be.

Below a short text and a myriad of images will tell you this story.

Enjoy

INVISIBLE – a solo show by Lumy Nouguez

It’s yoga Firenze (Light Lite)
Via dei Serragli, 24r, 50124

INVISIBLE is a series of 213 jewellery pieces created to populate surfaces on the body and beyond.

INVISIBLE is jewellery meant to draw attention, to stop a distracted glance, and to be an encounter with the unsuspected.

INVISIBLE talks about a process and a transformation from the ordinary to the extraordinary. It talks about the metamorphosis of organic substances, and focuses on the microorganisms that provoke this metamorphosis by transforming them into jewellery.

Creating “mold” to be worn as jewellery might be felt as a provocation, a provocation to feel and to see what is normally disdained. It is an invitation to accept a natural process of life in its inherent beauty, an invitation to break the boundaries of traditional jewellery, while exploring new possibilities of wearability and reinterpretation.

The exhibition itself is again an invitation to stroll around and explore particular spaces.
It has its starting and ending point in “It’s Yoga” (Light Lite), Via dei Serragli, 24r, 50124 at 5p.m with an installation explaining the project. The exhibition itself evolves as treasure hunt where the visitors will follow a map with a route to find jewellery pieces spread in the area of the city.

This was possible thanks to the collaboration of I Visionari, Coexist, Quelle tre, Wave Parrucchieri, Luca and Bjork.

About Lumy Nouguez

Born in 1986 in Bogotá- Colombia, Nouguez lived and studied in Cúcuta until high school. Later she moved to Medellin for 10 years completing an architecture degree and working as landscape and graphic designer for several years. These became a big influence her work as a jeweler, when in 2014 she came to Florence to pursue her dream of completing a MFA in contemporary jewellery at Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School.

All photos by Lucy Clark.

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 INVISIBLE – exhibition view at It’s yoga Firenze

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 INVISIBLE – exhibition view at It’s yoga Firenze

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Exhibition view – INVISIBLE, exhibition view at It’s yoga Firenze

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Exhibition view – INVISIBLE, exhibition view at It’s yoga Firenze

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Lumy Nouguez and Doris Maninger

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INVISIBLE – The Catalogue (sold out).

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INVISIBLE – packaging

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INVISIBLE – packaging

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INVISIBLE – Treasure hunt map

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INVISIBLE – invitation

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INVISIBLE- display set at Luca

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INVISIBLE- display set at Luca

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INVISIBLE- display set at Luca

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INVISIBLE – display set at I Visionari

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INVISIBLE – display set at I Visionari

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INVISIBLE – display set at I Visionari

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INVISIBLE – display set at Coexist

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INVISIBLE – display set at Coexist

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INVISIBLE – display set at Coexist

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INVISIBLE – display set at Coexist

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INVISIBLE – display set at Quelle Tre

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INVISIBLE – display set at Quelle Tre

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INVISIBLE – display set at Quelle Tre

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INVISIBLE – display set at Wave Parrucchieri

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INVISIBLE – display set at Wave Parrucchieri

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INVISIBLE – display set at Bjork

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INVISIBLE – display set at Bjork

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INVISIBLE – display set at Bjork

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INVISIBLE- the catalogue

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INVISIBLE – ring

This is the first in a series of new writings where young and established designers speak to designers of the future, sharing their knowledge and experience to be preciously kept for those to come (or in the making).

The first we’ve invited is Giulia Savino, an emerging and extremely imaginative (both in art and in its economy) jewelry maker from a tiny city near Turin. She already gained an important teaching experience in Cairo, where she was paramount in building a new institution from scratch, as the right hand of Spanish jewelry maker Estela Saez. Her latest collection, realized during Alchimia’s MFA program, is touring the country inside and outside of the jewelry sector. Her advice is precious. Enjoy, Alchimia

Short suggestions, thoughts that I repeat to myself every day:

1. Always look for opportunities and be open to new proposals. Be adaptable and curious. Experience is what makes us grow; the fact that jewellery can be realized everywhere is a privilege that brings in multiple possibilities.

In December 2012 I moved to Cairo to collaborate to the setting and opening of the first ever jewellery school in the Middle East: “The Design Studio by Azza Fahmy”. While there I worked as an assistant to the director Estela Saez and as a teacher. It was a totally fortuitous decision that revealed to be a great and powerful experience from which I learned a lot. At that time I had just completed the three-year BFA program at Alchimia, in Florence. Being part of this new adventure, which included taking care of various aspects of the jewellery world (from setting up a workshop to space maintenance, from the students’ relationships to the school’s curriculum organization) in a totally different country made me understand better my qualities and shortfalls.

2. Be aware of your way of working. Plan your short-term and long-term goals. Create your routine.

When starting to work as an independent designer and maker I realized how important it was to understand my own working process. During school we experiment a lot but it takes time and awareness to build up our own language and way of thinking. A state of confusion is what I felt when I started my Master Degree, but commitment and perseverance helped me to get out of it.

In our practice it’s essential to be the boss of ourselves and to find a certain balance, which will always be different for each one of us. During the organization of my first solo show I experienced the value of scheduling and reaching daily goals in order to keep the energy and motivation to go on.

3.Take advantage of your knowledge and qualities. With the little resources you have, wherever you are, you can invent your own path. Don’t play with time but start somewhere.

During school we receive and consume a lot of information, both technical and theoretical. I think that the important thing for us is finding our own road through the many possibilities that contemporary jewellery making can offer.

Since a couple of months I moved to Torino. It’s not an easy city to start a jewellery practice in, as there are not many people to share the work (and passion) with and there is no direct access to materials and tools. I don’t have a real workshop yet, because at the moment I can’t afford it, and there aren’t any shared labs here. First I felt a bit discouraged, but by keeping thinking about it only as a transition moment, I didn’t give up and I tried to take advantage of my skills and of the situation, focusing on my work and on my teaching experience: I’ve started organizing a series of five workshops about jewellery making techniques suitable for anyone without having specific tools.

4. Nobody is looking for you out there and your pieces won’t sell by themselves, unfortunately. Present and introduce you work.

Nowadays the possibility to sell your work are many and marketing is necessary (not a choice). Define your market and where you want to be. 

We have to be ready to be multi-tasking, as we are not only jewellery makers, but need to also be (at least at the beginning) business conscious, have marketing skills,  be smart in using social media, and have graphic basics. Every single day I try to overcome my limits in feeling uncomfortable when trying to be a marketing person, contacting people and selling my pieces.

It’s obvious that when a jewellery piece is finished we are only half way through the working process; packaging, photographing, advertisement, marketing research are part of the daily routine. 

All the decisions we take are not for good, especially nowadays that things change so fast and new solutions come up all the time. But we have to define our market and what we want from our work.

5. Create your network: to share, to improve, to enjoy. Evaluate your work from different perspectives.

For me it’s important to buildup relations with people from different backgrounds, to share my work and get feedback. Having different points of view about our work can help us in developing further.

When I arrived here in Turin, I underestimated the time (as I’m not a patient person) you need to buildup a network of people and to be aware of what is happening. When you start in a new place you realize how difficult it can be, but it’s also a continuous discovery. I’m trying to meet other designers by joining art events and attending different talks hoping to be able to start new collaborations.

Recently for example I joined the Turin Fashion Week so I had the chance to show my work during a catwalk and to start a project with a local designer. Thanks to the participation to Grassimesse Fair in Leipzig I will take part to a private event in Munich.

Things happen but patience is necessary.

Actually I’m happy that my work is done half in the studio, half via interaction, as mine is really jewellery for people.

This article is also published in Alchimia main website.

What can you do with the notions of repetition, pattern and rhythm?

Alchimia’s first year BFA students are happy to present to the blog the outcome of a five-days workshop with Alchimia’s former director, artist and jewelry maker Doris Maninger.

How about starting with a potato?

By using only a potato students created hundreds of black and white patterns and collectively realized a wonderful window installation.

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How do you work with a group?

The building of a sense of (temporary) community with fellow students and faculty is a central aspect of  Alchimia’s pedagogical method, as it strengthens self-security and encourages experimentation. Hence a second exercise during the workshop was the realization of a 1 minute music video revolving around the three magic words.

 

What is the size of a necklace?

The last exercise was about collectively realizing a necklace for the Gods, creating a piece of overly exaggerated size, moving from the micro dimension of jewelry to the space of a window.

 

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The first year BFA is: Silvia Bonardi, Thomas Catry, Yara Diaz Salles, Yu Fang Hu, Daniel Jirkovsky, Ashleigh Mc Culloch, Sarah Ordóñez, Sarah Poupart, Alessia Prati, Yanqi Wuang, Shuang Yue

 

 

We are glad to say that Patrick Davison has won the Goldsmiths’ Fair 2016 Best New Design Award (Week Two) for Box: a container, an object and a sculpture, only 50mm tall and with a fascinating and intricate surface’s pattern made of silver, brass, copper, bronze, and nickel silver (alpaca).

Patrick Davison Goldsmith Fair Box

Box, fine silver,sterling silver, copper, bronze, nickle silver, brass,  2015

 

Patrick Davison Goldsmith Fair Box

Who is Patrick Davison

A student of Alchimia in the past, and a contributing faculty today, Patrick is a jewellery designer whose practice is defined by a process-led work which incorporates silver and mixed metals.

He studied at the Glasgow School of Art and at Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence with Ruudt Peters. After graduation he returned to Kent in England and set up his workshop where he continues to work. He began to develop his own work exploring a variety of gold and silversmithing techniques and complementing this personal practice with work in jewellery workshops.

 

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Necklace, silver, shibuichi, 2015

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Porphyry, box, silver, shibuichi, bronze, brass copper, 2014

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Box (oval), silver, nickel silver, 2014

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walls of the church/of the temple, vessel, silver, nickel silver, bronze, brass, copper, 2014

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Brooches, all from 2016

Patrick Davison - Glosmiths' Fair

Box, silver, Fine silver, Bronze, Brass, Copper, 2016

Goldsmiths’ Fair

Goldsmiths’ Fair is one of the most important events for contemporary jewellery of the UK, organized every year by the Goldsmith Company.

For over two weeks 150 independent makers, from young talents to more established professionals, from all over Britain are selected by a panel of experts to present their work in this context.

For more information please visit: https://www.goldsmithsfair.co.uk

How do we handle materials, what is their known and usual use, how can their qualities be defined? These questions were at the core of Material and Rules, a five-days workshop tailored for Alchimia’s BFA program by Doris Maninger with the assistance of Carla Movia. The workshop dealt with acts of defining, ordering, categorizing and in essence has the aim to encourage the students to think about how they look at things, and how their own act of looking defines what they see.
During these five days students used play as a form of investigation, understanding the importance of experimentation before final decision making, how that moment of freedom is paramount while keeping an absolute respect for self-imposed rules.

An important part of the this year’s course was the visit to the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology of Florence, one of the most significant in Europe. The Museum owns a very important patrimony, through which it is possible to trace the history of research methodologies adopted by anthropologists in the 19th and 20th centuries, and to gain knowledge over the colonial methods adopted to study any non european culture. The most spectacular section of the collections is the more than 25,000 artefacts deriving from exploratory journeys and scientific missions conducted in many regions of the planet in the late 18th – early 19th century. They consist of all kinds of objects: garments, clothing accessories, jewellery and ornaments, masks, architectural elements, boats, equestrian vestments, idols and amulets, offensive, defensive and hunting weapons, tools for farming, fishing and cooking, decorative items from houses, musical instruments, religious objects of different cults, books, paintings and manuscripts. These objects are all made out of natural materials: wood, bark, leaves and plant fibres both in their natural state and as components of fabrics and woven objects, fruits and seeds, bones, ivory, horns, shells, metals, stones, clay, natural dyes, skin, feathers and hair.

The colonial gaze vis-à-vis early scientific methods gave an important inspiration to the students projects, as did the incredible techniques developed to master natural materials all found in the museum’s collection.

Enjoy the visuals yourself and remember, mind your look.

x

Alchimia

 

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The second year BFA is: Roberta Consalvo, Elisa Cassaniga, Lisiane Hilario, Kristin Knoll, Chloe Leigh, Victoria Matsuka, Ginevra Montoschi, Uta Myazawa, Luisa Quartin, Cosima Rohden, Piera Shi, Sophia Taul, FuYu Tsai, Ian Lai Wen.

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by Chumeng Weng

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View from the vitrine of EContemporary Gallery

In early September, when stores were sluggish from the August heat and new students started to invade the city again, I got a chance to escape to the north of Italy. Trieste, a city bordered by Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea, has impressed me with its multicultural background and a scenic view. To skip the lonely planet kind of introduction, I’ll jump to saying that Trieste is also the hometown of Carla Movia who is a promising graduate student and teaching assistant of Alchimia. She is a jeweler, an artist, a generous host during my trip, and above all a dear friend.

Carla Movia participated in a project titled Artefatto, the result of a yearly open call for participation addressed to young emerging artists from all over the world under 31 years old and based on a different theme each year. The project was initiated by the Youth Aggregation Centres of the Municipality of Trieste as a result of a networking between educational institutions, cultural organizations, local communities and their younger generations. The Municipality of Trieste supported and enhanced this event through an art exhibition and several collateral activities such as ARTEFATTO zoom!

The 11th edition of Artefatto included the work of 40 artists, 8 of which were selected to be part of a show also in ARTEFATTO zoom, in different spaces of the city related to a number of curatorial choices.

The opening took place on September 9th with an ice installation by Fabio Ranzolin placed in the middle of the entrance of ITIS (Azienda pubblica di Servizi alla Persona). A nursing home is not normally associated to art activities. However this environment the artist chose spoke very directly to the topics he wanted to address: the personal experience with his mother suffering from the Alzheimer Disease. Two rows of wine glasses were placed on a block of ice with pure friction. Intensified dripping sound corresponding to the action was being constantly looped in the background. Each second the tension was stretched a bit more since the sound kept reminding the audiences that there would be a moment when the friction will no longer hold the glasses on the ice block as slowing melting away, and all would snap into a million of pieces. It was not a site specific piece but was extremely fitting with the artist’s intention. It was beautiful to perceive the strong collaboration, the support and solidarity existing between very different sectors of the city.

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Fabio Ranzolin setting up the wine glasses on ice block in ITIS

After this opening event, four exhibitions inaugurated too, all only for one hour, and in four locations. Artworks used a variety of media, and locations seemed to have always been carefully chosen in relation to the content of the exhibitions. It really felt as an exhibition organized by and for young people, jumping around locations on high heels and never complaining, even though I wonder what it meant for the artists to have a one hour only show.

Carla Movia was one of the 8 finalists, and exhibited some of her brooches (part of her graduate work) at the art gallery EContemporary in a show curated by Elena Cantori. Amongst all paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos and installations, jewellery sounded like an odd field to be included. However, and fortunately, to discuss whether or not contemporary jewellery belonged to the visual arts world seemed rather unnecessary at this point. For it is not the medium that determines whether or not something should be considered as art. In fact the most important aspect here seemed to be whether the artworks were capable of communicating the artists’ thoughts and research to the public in a creative way. Artists didn’t need a million dollar idea to start with, but an originality in their proposed answer to the general thematic framework. Carla Movia’s jewellery pieces were perfectly responding to this context. Her collection of brooches is made out of cans composed of containers and lids. They are a vivid illustration of marginalized individuals evaluated due to pre-established prejudices and processes of stereotyping. Stripped off of their original functions as cans, they become brooches, portraits, sculptures and recordings of a statement. Most importantly, they become a symbol of our societal norms. Movia does not only represent an issue, but also encourages a moment of reflection to a public that is essentially implicated in the problem.

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Carla Movia and her collection in EContemporary Gallery

I find that the world of contemporary jewellery takes itself too seriously. Why are we often so persistent in our need to define what we do and where we belong to? Is it self reassurance we need, to justify the fact that we produce a type of jewellery that has nothing to do with the traditional jewellery making doctrine? Movia in this case did not trouble herself with defining the boundaries of contemporary jewellery or contemporary art. She did not even have the intention to blur disciplinary borders or to be a “jewellery activist” of sort. To be fair not everyone has an instinctual understanding of her works and it’s not easy to reach the conceptual and formal qualities she achieved. Her work is the result of years of practice, research and discussion. Movia studied at Alchimia for five years and to some extent Alchimia can really be considered more than a jewellery school, as the questions you face during your studies there become existential, philosophical, they put into questions a lot of who you are and what you do, leading to continuously reconsidering yourself.

All the artists participating in the show at Econtemporary gallery had to personally introduce their work before an audience. Movia’s talent in talking about her work proved once again how Alchimia’s students are armed from head to toe to defend their work. Movia was able to talk about her project in just a few sentences like a veteran that talked about her war badges all the time.

I felt lucky to be a fellow classmate of Movia and see how her thoughts and works have developed over the past two years. Of course not all of us have her strength and mentality, and not all of us are interested in creating relations between jewellery techniques, worldwide conflicts and self recognition. But Alchimia over the past years has achieved so much in the contemporary jewellery scene. With her students being awarded all around the world and the school being nominated at different fairs and competitions…prospective students flock into the school like mad worshippers. The quality of teaching is not a guarantee for success, we as students also need to put in a huge amount of effort and energy. It always is a mutual interaction that leads to collaboration as well as conflict.

Best of luck to all the young artists out there, stay young, stay hungry.

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Chumeng Weng lived and studied in Shenyang, China for 18 years before studying fine art in Canada. Still looking for a better self, she spent one year in technical jewellery making until attending Alchimia where not only her perception of jewellery has been altered greatly but also her philosophy towards ways of living has been reinterpreted.

Dear jewellery lovers,

this is the time of the year in which we proudly share with you some of the achievements of our incredible roster of students and recent graduates.

Enjoy the list, but do remember that much more is there, even if not necessarily recognized or acknowledged by institutional structures (go go students!).

x alchimia

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Brunella Alfinito just finished a very special experience. Through an exchange program she participated in the Spring 2016 MFA semester of the MassArt (Massachusetts College of Art and Design) in the 3D department, presenting for the first time to a public her new “performance jewellery” series.

While there she was teaching Assistant of professor Heather White in her Intermediate jewellery course and she also engaged in an internship at EMBR Labs (MIT) with the “Wristify project” http://www.embrlabs.com. In her words: “I had to design a new wearable technology that recreates the relief you get when you warm your hands by the fireplace in the winter, or when you refresh with an ice cube on your skin in the summer. After some tests on my body and a research about the already existing technology at hand, I designed different types of jewellery and headphones, thinking on a variety of possible shapes and materials”.

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LenaGrabher, DIPLOPIA2, 2015, fresnellenssheet,silver,copper,steel

Lena Grabher wins the fifth Eligius Award for Body Jewelry and Jewelry Objects awarded by the federal State of Salzburg (with 7000€!). The jury was impressed by “the young, innovative and consequent manner, with which the artist addresses basic questions concerning the meaning of jewellery in the volatile interaction of the object, body, space and viewer analyses and develops. On one hand she examines the aesthetic possibilities of ordinary materials, on the other hand the creative use of precise technique. In the series DIPLOPIA she develops the concept of a ,double vision´ though the calculated use of optical lenses, mirror constellations and light. The result is a synthesis of the body, jewellery and space, which offers an unexpected visual experience to the viewer.” (…)

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Daria Olejniczak, Crimson Rustle, 2014, Brooch, silver, parchment, silk thread, stainless steel

Daria Olejniczak wins the Premio Torre Fornello in the students section and gets to participate to Joya in Barcelona with Rustle.

Rustle is a collection created from parchment (animal skin), which captivates by its unpredictability, resistance and lightness. Necklaces, bracelets and brooches consist of multiple same-shaped and hand-dyed round pieces, which sewn together, become nests of soft and subtle sounds. The vibrant colours of the pieces are striking, yet it is the rustle they create, which can be constantly perceived while wearing them.

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Exhibition view at Design Basel Miami

Lavinia Rossetti officially enters the roster of artists represented by Caroline Van Hoek gallery in Bruxelles. With her graduating collection Madelaine she participates in the gallery’s booth at Design Basel Miami. Madeleine is a series of highly poetic and nostalgic works, referring to the famous French dessert that Marcel Proust uses as a metaphor for the notion of involuntary memory in À la recherche du temps perdu. Brooches and necklaces are characterized by the recurrence of the oval shape, direct reference to the traditional technique of inlaid wood and to the pendants containing images of beloved ones in vogue since the XVIII century. Within a strong and wide sense of openness of meanings and subjective takes to the pieces, Madeleine becomes a metaphor of the layered and impermanent substance of our memory and how this is shaped through the proximity to the body, the mind and the heart.

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Federica Sala, Controlled Freedom, part of the series True Lies, 2015. Neckpiece, glass, egirina. Photo by Federico Cavicchioli.

Federica Sala has achieved an exceptional success with her MFA collection True Lies, including a solo-show in Munich last year and more recently the prestigious Marzee graduation award. In this series glass and stones come together in an innovative dialogue result of a long research developed on the island of Murano, with a strong relationship to local crafters. These works encourage a reflection on the inextricable co-dependence between opposite forces and forms, and on the limits of our visual and intellectual perception. Seemingly impossible structures that emphasize how much what we intuitively call reality is a fragile, hybrid and complex system, despite the appearances.

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Giulia Savino with Paris, part of the series 1:20.000

Giulia Savino has participated in an abundance of trans-disciplinary shows and became an active player in the cultural landscape of Turin. She opened a new and running studio for short and intensive jewellery courses that you can know about by following her constantly updated facebook page. She is continuing to expand her graduation project 1:20,000 presenting necklaces and earrings that respond to very contemporary travellers’ needs: seducing and light objects, bearing a featherweight, taking up very little space and adaptable to different contexts . These works represent personal interpretations of cities from above or known only through maps such as Amsterdam, Florence, Paris , Barcelona, Cairo and her native Vercelli among the others.

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Exhibition view at the Centro Cultural Scuola Italiana of Santiago, 2016

Maria Ignacia Walker brings her collection Trascendieron realized during her MFA at Alchimia to Chile in an exhibition titled at the Centro Cultural Scuola Italiana of Santiago. Trascendieron is conceived as a tribute to the silent and trivial losses that we inadvertently witness every day. Hair are caught in forms of gold and porcelain in a collection that encourages a reflection on the Western impulse to collect and preserve, bringing both of these aspects to their extreme. Hairs are counted, measured, analyzed and meticulously preserved as if they were rare and precious materials, in an ironic and poetic act that questions the parameters used to quantify the value of things.