From 8 February to 21 April 2024, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga (Skārņu iela 10) hosts a spectacular exhibition Touch-sensitive organized by the Latvian Jewellery Art Association in which the works of 23 authors are revealed in relation to the owners of jewellery, demonstrating a wide range of individual creative stylistics of different generations of artists and emphasizing the development and succession of the industry.
The idea of the exhibition is based on the stories about people, the jewellery they have chosen and the artists behind the works. The title of the project also describes the nature of jewellery – to be in contact with a human body. The exposition presents the artists’ newly-created original works, the stories about the creative experience of each designer, and the moment when the piece of jewellery finally meets its owner.
Exhibition designer Ilze Ķēniņa has assembled an unusual and breathtaking composition of the show space enticing everyone to delve into the magnificent world of jewellery. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the magic allure of jewellery, the diversity of contemporary means of expression, and discover the specifics of jewellery and the synergy of various materials.
The artists have created jewellery for doctors, diplomats, philologists, painters, teachers, students, for themselves, relatives, and colleagues. Therefore, alongside the unique art objects, the exhibition features portraits taken by photographer Mārtiņš Cīrulis presenting a multi-faceted reflection of the visual dialogue between jewellery and its owners. Moreover, Pēteris Pāss has created a sound installation that includes audio fragments of the jewellery making process, elements of electronic music and verbally reveals the thoughts and emotions of jewellery wearers about the importance of jewellery in their everyday life.
A valuable part of the project is the artists’ own comments on the exhibition objects providing an in-depth insight into the creative work. For example, Anna Fanigina’s airy compositions are dedicated to Ilze Rūmniece, professor of classical philology: “Many of the poem verses were suggested by Ilze and engraved by me on shards of translucent stones, and now they bring the feelings, moods, ideas and enigmas, which like distant starlight continue to charge up our souls for millennia afterwards.”
The necklace unBEARABLE, created by the artist Mārīte Rudzāte, embodies the conceptual statement memento mori, or – remember death: “The idea of one’s non-existence is unbearable for modern humans, but at the same time, conscious living includes a clear and harsh awareness of our own mortality, and arguably this is what makes life so meaningful.”
About the source of inspiration for the 112 jewellery collection, designer Daria Svirel says: “Jewellery is a memory. This is also a story of my collection – when I was born, my Dad gave my Mum a pair of earrings, but after a while they somehow were missing. Later, my brother found the kind of earrings in an antique pawn shop, and they were as if “re-born”, and now they are mine. It is so marvelous! I wanted to create works that would feature the genuine and the important, and my cherished memories.”
The innovative conceptual approach of the project which is focused on the perception of jewellery from the perspective of its owners, will help us acknowledge the new experimental means of artistic expression and increase awareness about the general direction of the evolution of the field in Latvia. The specially prepared exhibition catalogue and the museum’s educational programme will help to enrich the audience’s perception of the current trends in jewellery design promoting dialogue and discussions in society.
Anticipating the wide public interest, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design introduces additional extended opening hours for the exhibition period: in addition to Wednesdays, it will also be possible to visit the museum on Fridays from 11.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.
About Latvian Jewellery Art Association
Latvian Jewellery Art Association was established in 2018, with a mission to bring together professional artists active in the field. The goals of the association include not only the organisation of joint exhibitions, but also the collection and storage of information, as well as a commitment to promote the art of jewellery-making locally and internationally. The present exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design is the most ambitious show ever organized by the Latvian Jewellery Art Association.
Exhibition participants of the Latvian Jewellery Art Association:
Māris Auniņš, Jānis Brants, Valdis Brože, Vladislav Chistyakov, Anna Fanigina, Ginta Grūbe, Aleksandra Federika Krastiņa, Andris Lauders, Guntis Lauders, Una Mikuda, Rasma Pušpure, Pēteris Ripa, Mārīte Rudzāte, Anita Savicka, Laura Selecka, Gints Strēlis, Jelizaveta Suska, Daria Svirel, Māris Šustiņš, Paula Treimane, Zane Vilka, Jānis Vilks, Maija Vītola-Zitmane