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In most cases, when we think about still life, we think about painting. Art Jewellery Contest “Nature Morte”, which took place during International Baltic Amber and Jewellery fair “Amber Trip”, gave artists a chance to think about nature morte in jewellery in broadest meaning possible. Michael Petry – an artist, curator, critic, director of The Museum of Contemporary Art wrote a book “Nature Morte”, where he overviews the origins and development of still life. As an extension, addition and illustration of the book became an exhibition with the same title, curated by M.Petry himself, where historical nature morte is presented next to contemporary artists works from 21st century. The exhibition has already been showcased in Ha Gamle Prestergard (Norway), during 2017 it is open at Bohusland Museet (Sweden), National Museum Wrocław (Poland), and from Semtember until January 2018 – in Guildhall gallery in London (UK.) During every “stop” the exhibition is replenished with artworks from local collections, and in MOCA museum in London an accompanying exhibition of jewellery will be arranged with works showcased from exhibition in Wroclaw and „Amber Trip“ Art Jewellery contest which took place in Vilnius.

The Art Jewellery contest is an evidence that the topic of “nature morte” is by no means dead. The International jury consisted of Giedymin Jablonski (Poland), Kristi Paap (Estonia), Zane Žukovska (Latvia), Laima Kėrienė (Lithuania) and the head of the jury – curator and author of “Nature Morte” book and exhibition Michael Petry (UK). 66 artists from 19 countries participated in the competition – Israel, Latvia, Poland, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Portugal, Turkey, Estonia, etc. The geography of the participants is indeed various and impressive, as well as the materials and techniques used by the artists. Wood, metal, amber, enamel, plastic, epoxy resin, ready made, plexiglass – the participants did not have any boundaries. That is exactly why the topic of nature morte was revealed in many ways possible. The distribution of categories in the contest is functional, by the purpose of the objects: neckpieces, rings, brooches. The Grand Prix was won by a piece, which was unanimously agreed by the jury: “The Crown of Shame”, created by young Lithuanian artist Lauryna Kiškytė. Black cown, rising above the model‘s head, emotionally touching; emotional charge is exactly what draws attention to it. One of the most conceptual and contexual works, winner in brooches category – “Fig leaves” by Ieva Sadauskaitė (Lithuania). Flower blossoms, painted with oils, indicate the history of still life and inevitable and fast death of the flower. Daniella Sarayae (Israel) “Re-cover” rings, reminding of organic nature objects won in the rings category. The “eyes” of epoxy resin, porous like a sponge or sea foam; these rings look like creations of nature, not a man. Subtle and aristocratic necklace by Dovilė Kondrašovaitė (Lithuania) “Beauty in ful bloom” – a laureate in its category. Unfolded flower blosssoms of black wood remind skillfuly created mini sculptures gracefully twining around the neck.

These are the winners: however, there were more pieces liked by the jury – efective, black as the storm clouds neck adornment by Marta Costa Reis (Portugal), photographic images harmonized with metal by Herman Hemsen (the Netherlands), “archeological” amulets created by Anna Szymanska and Zuzanna Litwinskac (Poland), and also the public choice – Eugenija Valašinaitė-Mikšienė (Lithuania). All artists schowcased the knowledge of the craft, conceptual thinking and professionalism. Colourful ficcus leaf from plexiglass by S.Malaškevičiūtė, root-like brooch by H.Helsner, fossils, stringed together into jewellery by M.Balod, snowflake by F.Pattoni – there are many ways to talk about nature morte in metal. Not only talk, but reaffirm that it is alive.

The Art Jewellery contest “Nature Morte” artworks have already been showcased and could be seen in Poland, Legnica Jewellery festival “Silver”, later on they will travel to “Ramybė” gallery in Palanga (Lithuania) and Kaliningrad (Russia) where they will be presented during “Amber Forum”. And this is only the beggining.

text: Dr.Jurgita Ludavičienė

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