Just as the academical year came to an end, at the most busy moment of the year, there was again a grand expo at Gallery Ra in Amsterdam.‘
Manon van Kouswijk, ‘Hanging Around’, The Pearl Chain Principle’
[22 Mai- 19 juin 2010].
Manon van Kouswijk has been Head of the Jewelry Department of Rietveld Academy the past three years. This exhibit was like a farewell present by her, after leaving the academy for a new chapter in her life and carreer abroad.
For all who missed that show there is still the book with the same name ‘Manon van Kouswijk, ‘Hanging Around’. And what a beautifull publication it became. With the help of graphic designers NiessenendeVries [#] and photographer Uta Eisenreich [#] a new pearl was added to her neckless of exquisite publications on her work and research process. Only 500 copies so go to the Rietveld library and have a look. The book not only gives a genuine and autonomous look on her work, it also presents her associative search into the subject of pearls and chains as a subject. An inside look into her working process as we came to know from her in former publications
. . .“Within my work I focuss on the value and meaning that everyday objects represent to us.
I am interested in actions and rituals in which these objects take part, like finding, buying, collecting, receiving and giving. In the works I visualise aspects of their function, of use and wear, and of associations that are connected with them.
The archetypical object serves as a starting point in this process; the outcome and appearance of the work is diverse and ranges from jewellery, cutlery, tableware and textiles to works in paper.
The making process I view as a way of making things visible rather than designing; I stay quite close to the objects in a sense that I work with the materials and techniques that the archetypes I start from have been made with.
The multi- disciplinary approach is essential to my practice. It results in functional designs as well as limited editions of art work, that are all derived from the same sources of inspiration. [#]
. . . “My graduation project at the Rietveld academy in 1995 was based on my interest for classical pieces of jewellery, like in this case the pearl necklace. I was intrigued by its rigid and aloof character and felt very tempted to attack it in such a way that other aspects then just its perfectness became more visible.
To achieve this I used the specific characteristics of the necklace, like the severe order of the pearls and the knots that both separate them, but also hold them in place to make a series of alterations to the piece.
One of them was a transparent bar of soap, containing a strand of pearls that slowly comes out the more the soap has been used up. The necklace is born from the soap like a pearl from a shell. [#]
quotes from Manon van Kouswijk
[#] look also for her former 2007 publication Lepidoptera Domestica