Vivienne Becker, award-winning jewellery historian, journalist and author curates the Contemporary Designer Showcase, at GemGenève.
Not only about antique jewellery.
GemGenève, the new upcoming gem and jewellery show to be held in May (10-13th) at Palexpo, in Geneva, will have a dedicated section to designer-jewellers: the Contemporary Designer Showcase.
A window on the work of a selected group of jewellery designers, the Contemporary Designer Showcase was conceived by the show’s founders, Thomas Faerber and Ronny Totah, and curated by jewellery historian, journalist and author Vivienne Becker.
The Contemporary Designer Showcase’s mission is to “highlight the creativity and originality that keeps the jewellery world alive, dynamic and continually evolving”.
A specially designed space will showcase each designer’s character and creative vision. Some of them are young and new (Emmanuel Tarpin and Ninotchka Jewels) while others are more experienced yet more private and unknown to the big public (Nadia Morgenthaler and Alexander Tenzo).
Different styles, different creative visions that celebrate and defies at the same time the world of precious jewellery.
Meet the Designers.
Alexander Tenzo, based in St Petersburg, is well-known for the Russian art of stone carving, and he is a renovator and moderniser of age-old skills and traditions. Tenzo’s jewels include cameos and intaglios and objects meticulously carved from gems, hardstones and minerals.
Belmacz, by Julia Muggenburg
Julia Muggenburg, a German-born and London-based artist, studied at London’s St Martin’s School of Art. She launched the Belmacz collection in 2000. Her style is energetic and graphical, and is influenced by art, tribal jewellery and by the profound meaning jewellery has in different cultures.
From the artist’s website: “The word Belmacz was conceived by Julia Muggenburg uniting bel (the French male adjective for beautiful) and maximum. Partially it stands as a homage to the iconic 20th-century jeweller Suzanne Belperron. In 2000 Belmacz was founded by Julia Muggenburg as an umbrella under which to present her one-of-a-kind gems. Today Belmacz has evolved into a unique space in the heart of Mayfair where aesthetics of modern life are surveyed; art, in its wide variety of unlimited configurations, from past and present, is invited in.”
Daughter of an art-dealer, Sheibani grew up immersed in the art world. She approaches the jewel as pure design. To her, a jewel is line, form, colour, material, texture.
Acknowledged as an emerging talent, Emmanuel Tarpin studied at HEAD, the school of art and design in Geneva. Tarpin’s inspiration comes from nature and its poetry. Nature gives life to sculptural creations focussing on floral forms, which he interprets by experimenting with metals’ treatments to achieve unusual colours and textures. Emmanuel Tarpin’s geranium leaves earrings, in green-coloured titanium and diamonds, were auctioned at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in December 2017.
Fabio Salini is one of those designers bring conceptual modernism to High Jewellery. His jewels present defined forms and architectural volumes, together with fascinating contrasts of “precious and humble materials such as carbon fibre, leather, ebony, bronze and copper”. Salini’s mission is to build an “entirely new language for precious jewellery”.
A British designer goldsmith, Hannah Martin is appreciated for her edgy interpretation of classic jewellery. Her shapes are uncompromising, powerful, linear, sculptural and highly imaginative. “She is interested in the contradictions within the role and meaning of the jewel, particularly between ownership “Possession” that has so often defined the jewels and freedom of expression, and between constraint and freedom in the physical attributes of the jewel.”
Running her atelier in Geneva, Nadia Morgenthaler launched her own collection a few years ago. Her jewels present three-dimensional, architectural structures, often set with antique natural pearls and gemstones of subtle colours.
Another Russian duo composed by Eugene Glagolev and Tima who take Russian jewellery past to translate it into contemporary and emotional pieces, perfectly fusing past and present. Having their creative roots in antique jewellery, they go and look for specific gemstones. Demantoid garnets and regal Siberian amethysts add to the complex narrative of their jewellery creations.
We move to the United States of America with Sean Gilson, a goldsmith and jeweller who hand-crafts his creations in his workshops between Connecticut and New York City. Taken from the artist’s bio, Gilson “takes a very fresh, graphic approach to shape, form and material – working particularly with gold, which he forges into powerful, primal, geometric shapes, with pearls, combining natural, Akoya, South Sea and baroque pearls, using their shape and lustre to build structure and texture, renewing their appeal, imbuing them with a youthful zest, and with sustainable coral, exploring its natural, organic forms, which he integrates into jewels that tell the story of coral’s underwater origins.”
The Contemporary Designer Showcase is the perfect place, at GemGenève, to discover how the past in jewellery tradition, inspiration and creation informs the present, and the future, too.
“It is important for us to include a modern designer showcase in this new venture, to show emerging talent and explain how the new generation of designers is evolving. We want to show how even in our global world, a few independent creators stand out, through work of immense originality and imagination, moving beyond the parameters of traditional jewellery. It is also interesting to make the connections within our industry, to show how the gemstones, pearls and precious materials are used in these exciting jewels. We would like GemGenève to become not only a vibrant trading place but also an educational experience, a place where, each year, people come to discover new talents, new stories and undiscovered treasures.” ∼ Ida Faerber
A place that testifies to the constant richness, vibrancy and evolution of the jewellery world.
The Contemporary Designer Showcase will really be about breaking boundaries and setting the perspective on jewellery design on a totally new and higher level. CC