Jewellery is one of the oldest cultural identifiers. Over 120,000 years ago, prehistoric humans engaged in this aesthetic, adorning their bodies with shell necklaces. Much like contemporary art, contemporary jewellery expands our view of society, culture, the world-at-large and ourselves. It differentiates itself from other craft practices because it isn’t one material. It can be animal, vegetable or mineral, thus opening many possibilities. Jewellery is significant for its direct associations with bodies, its ability to convey ideas at an intimate level and its movement through space and time.
These artists embrace debris and detritus, running counter to widely held ideas about what constitutes “fine jewellery” and what represents value. Through the catalyst of contemporary jewellery, artists use materials redolent with meaning and the body as a site to confront issues of identity, social critique and political change.
As part of Nuit Blanche
About Bridget Catchpole
Bridget Catchpole lives on the unceded territory of the Kómoks First Nation of Hornby Island, BC. She studied Fine Art (BFA 1998) at Concordia University, Montreal, QC and Jewellery Art and Design (Dip 1993) at Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, BC.
Bridget Catchpole is the recipient of multiple grants from Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for over 20 years.
Bridget Catchpole is a Canadian visual artist with a practice in contemporary jewellery and sculpture. Her work is a material exploration of the worth and waste of plastic, a reflection of anthropogenic climate change, recovery, and transformation. Since 2004, she has altered discarded plastics in her work to produce one-of-a-kind pieces and, more recently, to create sculptural “Wall Jewellery” forms.
Her recent work, entitled “Stages of Healing,” resembles geological core samples. Using a palette evocative of healing bruises, the work nods to a future where plastics no longer encroach on the natural environment but have been buried within the geological strata layers from the Anthropocene. In this future, these geologically digested plastics are considered a collectable curiosity, like mineral curios from an incomprehensibly reckless era. Bridget lives and works on Hornby Island, BC, Canada.
About Annette Dam
Annette Dam was educated at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in Norway in 1999. Her works have been exhibited in Denmark and internationally. In 2015 she was selected for the World Craft Council’s European Prize for Applied Arts in Belgium. Dam received the prestigious Skt. Loye Award from the Kjøbenhavns Guldsmedelaug.
“My jewellery is created in a sensual and narrative universe, combining elements of seriousness and a sense of humour. It is considered through a loving and critical perspective aiming for communicative art jewellery. I seek to create works where the artistic, conceptual and handcraft meet, and through an investigative practice. This process serves as an active contributor to the design and final expression. Sometimes it feels like a riddle that I struggle to solve: to visualize and materialize abstract thoughts into wearable jewellery pieces. It becomes an investigative ping pong between the ideas, material compositions and my craft skills. But cracking the riddle is where a lot of my drive lies.”
About Karin Jones
Karin Jones received a Jewellery Art and Design diploma from Vancouver Community College in 1993, where she has also been an instructor since 2013. Since 2007, her work has moved from traditional jewellery to sculpture and contemporary art. Jones received an MFA in Craft from NSCAD University in 2018 and was longlisted for the Sobey Art Award in 2022. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Royal Ontario Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Metal Museum and the Agnes Etherington Centre.
About Helga Mogensen
Helga R. Mogensen is a jewellery artist that graduated from Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, in 2007. Since then, she has been participating in exhibitions in Iceland and abroad. Mogensen uses a wide range of materials such as silver, copper, steel, driftwood and fish skin when creating her jewellery pieces. A place that inspires her work is up north in Iceland, where she goes every summer with her family. The closeness to nature and the remote location makes this place her favourite when seeking inspiration. All her pieces are one-off pieces, and no two are the same. Mogensen lives and works in Reykjavik, Iceland.
About Alex Kinsley
Alex Kinsley Vey is from Hamilton, Ontario, where he received jewellery training from his parents. Moving to Toronto in 2010, he studied jewellery at George Brown College, receiving an Advanced Diploma in Jewellery Arts in 2013. Vey has shown work in Canada, Europe and the United States. He has been a member of Craft Ontario since 2012, Klimt02 since 2017 and is one of the co-founders of MetalAid and a Harbourfront Centre Craft and Design Artist-in-Residence from 2015–2019. He is currently a member at Jewel Envy in Toronto’s west end. Vey is a sessional instructor at OCAD University and has previously taught at both George Brown College and NSCAD University.
About Tania Larsson
Tania Larsson uses materials that come from the Canadian Arctic. She operates a jewellery studio in Yellowknife where she designs and makes hand-fabricated jewellery.
“My work is guided by the seasons: caribou hides are thinner in the spring while thicker moose hides are best found in the fall. When I tan my hide, I know their quality and how easy it will be to sew on them depending on how much I work it.” Larsson learned to bead from her mother who taught her how to make her own beading loom. With the help of family and friends, she began creating jewellery as a teenager. “I always wanted to wear jewellery that represented my Gwich’in culture, and it was really hard to find that,” she says.
After studying arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts, she apprenticed with Kiowa jeweler Keri Ataumbi where she fell further in love with jewellery and adornment. Her passion for beadwork, meanwhile, was rekindled after completing an artist leadership program at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in 2015. “I looked at all the Gwich’in items they had in their collection. These items that belonged to my nation were the most beautiful pieces of art I had seen. During this visit, I fell in love with the colour palette of vintage and antique beads. Their colours and qualities were so different from today’s bead production.”
About Helena Johansson Lindell
Helena Johansson Lindell is an artist and jewellery maker based in Stockholm, Sweden. She studied at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm and KHIO, the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in Norway. Her solo work has been shown in the Nordic Regions, Asia, the United States and Brazil. Exhibitions have been held at the International Craft Fair and It’s Green at Galerie Handwerk in Munich, Germany, as well as the 6th European Triennial of Contemporary Jewellery which toured in Belgium, Sweden and France.
About Anna Rikkinen
Finnish visual and jewellery artist Anna Rikkinen lives and works in Lahti, Finland. Raised in an aesthetical village milieu and educated in the decorative arts, she creates works that draw influence from sources including 17th-18th-century Dutch portraiture and African apparel, as well as historical fashion and architectural and domestic ornaments. Rikkinen’s work ranges from wearable sculptures to body-related objects and installations. She tries to evoke the body by playing with the language of volume and space. For Harbourfront Centre, Rikkinen shows large-scale jewellery sculptures made of wooden objects, like daily utensils and souvenirs. She reclaims unwanted materials, reconfiguring found wooden kitchenware from bland and practical things into mysterious clusters. Starting from characteristics of the ready-made, Rikkinen creates tactile artifacts that reveal the absurdity of our actions and greed.
About Máret Ánne Sara
Máret Ánne Sara is an artist and author. She is from an indigenous Sámi reindeer herding family in Kautokeino, Northern Norway, and she currently lives and works in her hometown.
Sara is the initiator and founding member of the Sámi artist collective Dáiddadállu. She has published two novels and was nominated for the Nordic Council’s Children’s and Young Literature Prize in 2014 for her debut book Ilmmid gaskkas.
Sara has exhibited visual art since 2003 and often deals with political and social issues, from a Sami and reindeer-sámi social perspective. Her extensive art project Pile o’Sápmi was presented at Documenta 14 in Kassel in 2017 and later acquired by the National museum of Norway. In 2022 she is one of three Sámi artist who transformed the Nordic pavilion to a historic first Sámi Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale.
About Catherine Sheedy
Trained in jewellery and metalsmithing during her three-year diploma at the École de joaillerie de Quebec, Catherine Sheedy continued her studies in Visual Arts at the Université Laval, where she was awarded her MFA in 2007. Her interest in contemporary jewellery led her to participate in experimental workshops and artist-in-residence programs. Sheedy has presented her work in several exhibitions and publications in Canada, the United States, France, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. She has been the recipient of grants from the Quebec Art Council and the Canada Art Council. She has won prizes, including the Metal Arts Guild of Canada Steel Trophy Award 2013 and the 2017 Jean-Marie Gauvreau Award, the highest distinction from the Quebec Craft Council. Sheedy’s work his represented by Noel Guyomarc’h Gallery in Montreal and are part of the collections of the Musée des métiers d’art du Québec (MUMAQ) and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM).
About Despo Sophocleous
Born in Nova Scotia, Despo Sophocleous holds a BFA in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. In 2015 she completed her graduate studies at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and found in both private and public collections. Sophocleous is the recipient of several awards, including the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst Graduate Scholarship (DAAD), and the Herbert Hofmann Prize prize. She has received support for her work from Arts Nova Scotia and the Canada Council for the Arts.
About matt lambert
matt lambert is a non-binary, trans, multidisciplinary collaborator and co-conspirator working towards equity, inclusion and reparation. Their practice is based on polydisciplinamory, entangling making, writing, curating, collaborating and performing. lambert is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Craft at KonstfackUniversity of Art, Craft and Design in Stockholm, Sweden, and has published, curated and exhibited internationally. They have a MA in Critical Craft Theory from Warren Wilson College and an MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
lambert is interested in the relationship of body, object, and place and the movements or constellations that form between these points. In inhabiting these queer or liminal spaces, these interactions gain their strength as a force yet to be explored for its potential as a terroristic act to westernized and colonial institutions. lambert collaborates with multi-media artists of a vast array of disciplines to reconfigure the current cultural systems of queerness and body politics while challenging the boundaries of craft.