The Jewellery – Linking Bodies department approaches the field of jewellery as an independent art form at the interface between applied arts and fine arts. As such, the related investigative field offers space to probe jewellery design as an attitude as much as a discipline. In this explorative process, the department adopts a clear stance through the assumption that a “jewellery attitude” need not necessarily result in the form of traditional jewellery designs. Appreciating and defining this stance helps more clearly interpret and build on students’ competencies and working styles. Such an open attitude also contributes to strengthen their identities and to create spaces for new activities, both within and beyond the context of designing jewellery.
By extending on the significance of jewellery in contemporary contexts and stressing its role as the fundamental link that places bodies in relation to one another, the department focuses on the space “in between” and, more specifically, on the ways in which all bodies connect with each other; this, while interacting with their surrounding environments and expanding on their potential meaning and politics.
Students are challenged to explore how jewellery can respond to contemporary social, ecological or scientific contexts to activate both trans-disciplinary and trans-being engagement through the materialisation of sensorial experiences (e.g., touching, feeling and smelling) embedded in body-related objects. There is a focus on investigating the places “in between” – bodies and environment, human bodies and co-habitants’ bodies. Could the closest object to the body, for example, use physical, haptic and tangible items to connect artistic and scientific research? What role can jewellery play in theimpact of pollutants within Antarctica’s marine ecosystems? Students are encouraged to journey further afield through other disciplines and institutes, to extend relations beyond the traditional, to find an independent position and to critically analyse what they find.
The multidisciplinary team of instructors with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds supervises the students and organises the curriculum. The curriculum has its roots in fundamental jewellery issues such as human bodies and co-habitants’ bodies, adorning and expression, identity, and identification, the relationship of maker-jewellery-wearer-observer within a specific context, the sign, signal, and message, mass production versus the unique art piece, craft and technology, classic techniques, new materials and natural resources, the history of trade and the emergence of monetary systems, and jewellery as art in the public sphere versus the intimate.
The focus on these topics in combination with the specific and highly personal way of making, translating and thinking is what distinguishes the jeweller. As an outcome of this experimental and research-based approach the course is not limited to particular materials and the student’s research may be expressed by means of various media in 2D or 3D. In addition, students may use performance, photography, sculpture, video and other forms of expression.
The aim is for the student to learn to reflect on his work and be able to connect the work to the outside world. To be able to present, clarify and defend the work is vital. During the first year and for part of the second specialist year, the student works primarily within the framework of assignments and thematic projects in order to gain substantive, formal and technical experience. The student will learn to work with various materials and techniques, as well as gaining basic knowledge about the traditional field of work. During the graduation year, the student realises a concept of his or her own choice, which is then exhibited in public in order to evaluate its visual, philosophical and technical merits. The students who join the department are expected to display an independent, open and mature attitude towards their studies.