Sieraad Art Fair 2013

Isn’t this a gorgeous building, in its simplicity?

This is a gasholder at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Once a gas plant (in use until 1967), the entire area has now developed into a centre for creatives and entrepreneurs. You can read about its history and how it turned into this vibrant cultural venue here.

Past weekend I went inside to see the Sieraad Art Fair 2013, an annual jewellery fair with artists from all over the world showcasing and selling their work.

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Speaking to some of the artists re-confirmed to me what jewellery is about: Anything and everything! Every artist is drawn to or driven by something else, whether that is a technique, a shape, a certain material, a colour, a concept, a story…

While I now and then got into a conversation, I afterwards realised something odd. I’m not entirely comfortable to admit this, but it also intrigues me, so here we go:

I spoke with some of the artists, but I found that I didn’t really made the effort to engage in conversation with any of the (very few) men that were there to show jewellery. Was that by coincidence, or did I somehow not take them seriously?

Did I think they were only salesmen of something they were not closely involved in themselves? (I didn’t ask them, so shame on me for assuming this, if I did). Did I think they can not “relate” to jewellery the way “we women” can? (If that is the case, more so a reason to explore their relation to it, isn’t it?). Did I truly feel that jewellery is a “girl thing”? (If that is the case, perhaps it’s time for a change?).

Perhaps it was pure coincidence, after all…

I’m not sure why I mention this, but now I did.

This hall is a big round area, and with my (rather poor) sense of orientation, I am not sure I got to see everything, despite my criss-crossing back and forth, in all directions. I did leave with a sense of satisfaction and I enjoyed my time inside this “jewellery energy hall”.

You can explore all the artists  here, and I will also post a few highlights of  jewellery that spoke especially to me. Because yes, jewellery does speak. Just saying, in case you didn’t know.

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2 thoughts on “Sieraad Art Fair 2013

  1. I think it’s interesting what you said about not taking in the work of the men as easily as the women’s. I do think that there are stereotypes as to what person makes what kind of art. And I also think it’s interesting how those have changed over the years – such as knitting, a craft dominated by men in the middle ages and now – if you see a man knitting you certainly notice and think it unusual. Did you see a style or product difference in the what the men made? That you could attribute to the piece being made by a man?

    Thanks for this post. Sounds like an interesting day.

    • I don’t know if there was really much difference between the work of male/female designers, as there were far too few men to draw any “conclusions” in that respect. Perhaps some differences had also to do with where the artists came from (the US artists seemed to offer a colourful oasis, f ex), or how work was displayed.
      How interesting that knitting was once dominated by men, I had no idea. I learned something new there, thank you!

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