Contemporary Portuguese jewelry: serious and not so serious.

Lithuanian viewers are not aware of what is currently happening in the Portuguese jewelry scene. What ideas, techniques and materials are currently of interest to Portuguese authors? What are the tendencies, thoughts, feelings and what are the ways of their expression that are formed into objects for the body (and sometimes not for the body)?

Seven artists from Portugal are pulling back the curtain on the jewelry art scene in the “Meno niša” gallery. The current situation of jewelry art in Portugal is not very different from the general European trends: freedom of expression, the desire to convey one’s feelings and thoughts in the form of an object intended for the body, expression of uniqueness, using unusual materials. However, in this country, the theme and emotion of the work are especially important, the harmony of which, reflected in the object, makes the work artistically valuable.

Authors belonging to the middle generation of artists demonstrate an already formed artistic drawing.  Sofia Assalino explores the relationship between nature and man. By combining materials that contrast with each other and are opposite in nature, the designer-educated author seeks to reveal the contradictory, sometimes conflicting, and sometimes harmonious coexistence of man and the environment.

Susana Teixeira exhibits her latest project, “Meeting Point”, a panel made of puzzle pieces. The sixteen puzzle piece holders, after meeting and connecting their pieces, learn the address of the blog, which can become a place for their communication in the virtual space, a virtual “home”. In this way, the jewelry item becomes an object that promotes communication, while maintaining its decorative function.

Rita Carvalho Marquez creates jewelry that is the least distant from the concept of traditional jewelry. Jewelry made of gold and silver with precious stones, in which topazes, amethysts, pearls are combined with oxidized, polished and hammered metal, are bright, colorful, memorable and decorative.

Fernando Sarmento works in sculpture, installations and performance; his presented object is a collection of Limoges porcelain sculptures. These are bones restored from porcelain and reminiscent of modern relics of saints.

Maria José Valério, who has been designing accessories since childhood, presents necklaces for lovers. Her works are full of raw emotions, bright colors; each of the author’s works has a specific emotional and meaningful charge. It is an amulet, a prayer bead, a sign of recognition or a talisman. And each of them tells their own story.

Estefânia Rodrigues de Almeida presents accessories in which paper elements are combined into a single whole by means of jewelry. The author’s journey through the city is presented as a kind of diary, formed from tickets, flyers, advertisements found in the city – but in the end all this turns into jewelry – a memory.

Adelino Vieira constructs a spatial composition from text signs, translating the letter as a meaningful sign – a spatial object. Losing its meaning, the letter becomes a sculptural body. Portuguese jewelry is sensual and conceptual, sometimes functional, sometimes sculptural, sometimes planar. The authors combine forms, materials, stones and metal into a single whole, in which we recognize the feelings and thoughts that possessed them.

Dr. Jurgita Ludavičienė


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