on show were two exhibits the first being
Paul Adies work Grounded.
The works were brilliant and had a gritty and industrial presence. These large frame like brooches were occupied with cylindrical and box like structures that seem to have clambered and clumped into place evident solder joins add to the feeling of the work being inside out. The work is really large much larger than I had imagined, this is something I keep encountering, Because the jewellery in publications and on social media are more often that not photographed off the body ,so it is a whole new experience seeing these works in the flesh.
Rob Koudijs was really lovely, talkative and helpful speaking with admiration about Adies work which was displayed in the galleries front room.
Mr Koudijs talked about the concept of trade fairs and the way the network connections may be strengthened for newer galleries. As time has gone on gallery like this can choose where to spend energy. Shmuck events in Munich are something worthwhile visiting. but for participation a small gallery from New Zealand will benefit from networks also closer to home and Radiant Pavillion could be a very good starting point. As for selection of Artists work success is in consistancy and quality of work but also work that is uniqueness. Supporting both young talent and very well established artists
such as blessing. these works are engraved in reverse on the back of each brooch and are cleverly reflected back to the viewer in the glass top of the display cabinet.
The gallery boasts a busy exhibition schedule and great stable of artists including Helen Britton, Beppe Kessler and Octavia Cook and many more excellent makers
Koudijs Gallery also has publications for purchase some of which the gallery publishes itself. and additions to my collection are
- Galerie Rob Koudijs 5 year Jubilee magazine
- Terhi Tolvanen- Re-inventing nature (this book is beautiful)
- Helen Britton -interstices
- Galerie Ra,
On arriving at gallerie Ra happy to find and exhibition by Tanel Veenre called The Garden of Heavenly and Earthly Delights having been part of an intensive weekend workshop with Tanele two years prior also visiting his work at Avid it was really great to to see his work in a new context this particular work was based of erotic sensuous forms confronting ideas around gender and sexuality the work is and exceptionally well crafted poetic and in its fleshy form substantial. Tanels work occupied panels in the central area of the modest gallery.
One wall of the gallery is lined with glass shelved cabinets which is good for the jeweller as you can get a good look at mechanisms.. showing around 50 selected artists at one time there was a very nice mix of established and emerging artists work on display also a cabinet of drawers housing a selection of Iconic pieces by various makers which are often part of a historical reproducible series as explained to me by the owner a reserved and polite Paul Derez, The gallery also has an extensive array of publications for sale online and participates in international trade fairs and exhibits.
In terms of what makes for a good addition the Ra stable? Derez's answers point to the quality and consistency that is really valued and the furthering of ideas and concept. And of course wearability. there is a real appreciation of the new and innovative here as with MARZEE and Koudjis. Galerie Ra is an a very Iconic gallery in my mind, but of real interest and where the conversation ende up were with works that conveyed a newness like Carina Shoshtary's Point of Equilibrium works, the work is made from layers and layers of grafitti paint which the artist salvages and carefully creates scales which are used to construct beautiful forms ...these pieces really illustrate a cross over of materiality... a cultural vernacular a cultural artefact in the process, but the concept behind the work is talking about symmetry or the holiness of symmetry and references in ancient religious text which has led Islamic carpet to make deliberate mistakes in their work to seperate the manmade creations form the devine
Similarily I really enjoyed Attai Chens for its incredible detail this work is made up of paper, paint, wood and finished with graphite these miniature built up environments present intense sculptural worlds dealing with perspective and a restructuring of traditional painting techniques to the artists more multifaceted world view. And then there was Estonian blacksmith sculptor/jeweller Nils Hint, his work reminded me of the lead mortuary crosses I had seen in the wellcome collection. by squashing I guess the metal becomes sort of closer to its natural form ..the shapes are morphed in to these soft blobby shapes which are actually really joyful.