By Maja BIELAKOWICZ
A number of exhibitions dedicated to the jewellery art, photography and poster design, a rich programme of online events (including virtual exhibitions and video guided tours) and, most exciting of all, the award ceremony of the 30th International Jewellery Competition „Touch” – all this is to be expected as a part of the upcoming Legnica Jewellery Festival Silver. The event will traditionally take place in May, and it will reach its culmination on 13-14 May, 2022. The first exhibitions of artistic jewelry in Legnica took place in the late 1970s. Since then, every year the Festival attracts a wide circle of artistsgoldsmiths, designers and enthusiasts of the art jewellery from all over the world. It is one of the most important events for the jewellery community in Europe and an arena for presenting the latest trends and creative achievements in the field of contemporary jewellery. The Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER features numerous individual and collective exhibitions. Among the artists who presented their works in Legnica are Karol Weisslechner, Jarosław Westermark, Norman Cherry, Ramón Puig Cuyàs, Georg Dobler, Herman Hermsen, Ruudt Peters, Tabea Reulecke, Paweł Kaczyński, Jorge Manilla, Felieke van der Leest, Mari Ishikawa, Philip Sajet, Herman Hermsen, Małgorzata Kalińska and Sara
Gackowska. Each edition of Silver is accompanied by numerous publications documenting the development and most important phenomena in the field of artistic jewellery. The most important part of the Festival is International Jewellery Competition. Each year the competition is held under a different title referring to important, universal issues from the spheres of broadly understood art, culture, sociology or media. The competition is dedicated to jewellery designers and artists – each year it attract hundreds of objects, sent by participants from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South and North America. Qualified works will be presented at the main exhibition of the Festival at the Gallery of Art in Legnica. In turn, the non-qualified works will be presented at a separate Holownia exhibition, traditionally held in the Old Town Hall. The organizers encourage you to visit both exhibitions and confront the jury’s decisions with your own views, opinions and assessments. The theme of the 30th edition of the International Jewellery Competition is “Touch”. This is how the Organizers refer to this inseparable element of jewellery – which carries a special load of intimacy and safety, but also – in the time of a global pandemic – of fear and insecurity. In the words of Professor Caroline Broadhead from the United Kingdom, a jury member of the previous edition of the Competition: ”Just as a piece of jewellery that is worn all the time is only noticed when it is taken off or missing, in recent times human touch has been acutely noticeable by its absence. We have become most aware of the need for touch and connection but also the fear of touch as a source of contamination and danger. How can jewellery explore the sense of touch, physically and emotionally? What can the sense of touch convey? What sort of touch? How does it feel? Could it comfort you? Could it change you? What might its impact be? How can this non-visual characteristic of jewellery be communicated?” Professor Sławomir Fijałkowski, a long-term juror of the Legnica
SILVER Festival, adds: “This time – in the online era – we would like to refer to the feature that defines jewellery in its most material and – at the same time – the most sensual aspect. Let us invoke touch – the first sense through which we get to know the world, which gives us a sense of security, intimacy and trust. Jewellery worn on the body, coming into contact with skin receptors, provoking haptic contact, has always been the wearer’s closest prop. We offer you a contemporary interpretation of this nostalgia in the hope that the objects of the most personal use will not be replaced by touch screens.” In the programme of this year’s edition of the Legnica Silver Festival we will find solo exhibitions of Professor Andrzej Boss (Poland) and Felicia Mülbaier (Germany) realized in the “About the Artists” series, within the framework of which the creative achievements of over 100 authors from all over the world have been presented over the years. The exhibitions promise to be highly interesting – we will have a chance to admire the most recent works of both Boss and Mülbaier. In turn, the Silver Schools series presents the best European academies, schools and art departments specializing in contemporary jewellery and design. Over the years, more than 20 institutions from all over the world have been presented in the series. This year, the exhibition will feature, among others, works by students, graduates and educators from the Department of Metal Design at the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hildesheim (Germany). The other highlight of the Festival is the Debuts series – the cycle of exhibitions that is awarded by the Gallery of Art in Legnica in the Władysław Strzemiński “Project” Competition, organized by the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź (Poland) and addressed to the university’ s graduates. This year Angelika Kwiatkowska will present her work. During the Festival, the exhibition of Justyna Stasiewicz will also be shown. Stasiewicz is a graduate of the Wł. Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź (where she received her PhD in art) and has participated in numerous exhibitions both in Poland and abroad (including Germany and Spain). The artist will present her graduation collection, which included objects created by the 3D printing technology and further finished using a traditional goldsmith’s technique. During the Legnica Silver Festival we will have an opportunity to visit the exhibition of works belonging to the the International Collection of Contemporary Jewellery from the collection of the Gallery of Art in Legnica. This year’s exhibition will feature works by both Polish and foreign artists, which have been created after the year 2000. A large part of the exhibition will be composed of works awarded during the Legnica Silver Festivals, including the latest works included into the Collection in 2021. The exhibition will be parallely presented online, where each piece of jewellery will be displayed in the form of a 3D models. The Legnica Silver Festival will also include a collective exhibition presenting the creative achievements of the members of the Association of Goldsmiths and Jewellery Designers, which has been uniting jewelry artists in Poland for over 30 years, as well as postcompetition exhibitions of photography and posters related to the theme of the 30th International Jewellery Competition “Touch”. Moreover, visitors will have an occasion to see an exhibition of projects qualified for the International Competition for the Design of Jewellery with Amber Amberif Design Award 2022 “Amber as a reward!”, organized by the Gdańsk International Fair. The Organizers invite all to attend the culmination of the Festival while emphasizing that – after a long, pandemic break – the return to live events around artistic jewellery is highly awaited. Information about the Festival will be published on an on-going basis on the website silver.legnica.eu and on the social media. In turn, stationary exhibitions will be available (free of charge) from April to June in various locations in the heart of Legnica.