26 Feb 2016
SPECIALS is an exhibition of New Zealand contemporary jewellery being staged in Munich this week to coincide with the International Handwerksmesse (International Crafts Fair) and the influential events of Munich Jewellery Week.
SPECIALS is curated by Wellington-based jeweller and educator Peter Deckers and brings together works by 21 jewellery artists who have taken part, or are taking part, in Peter’s renowned international mentoring programme HANDSHAKE.
The title SPECIALS refers to Peter’s choice of what he feels to be the most special works created during the mentoring programme over the last 5 years. And the makers whose work has been selected are certainly being offered a special opportunity to be represented here in Munich during this key moment on the international jewellery calendar. There is also the possibility that the odd collector might be lured into the exhibition believing the work to be “on special”.
The exhibition is being held in the Einsaulensaal which is a series of chambers in the Munchner Residenz (the former city palace of the Bavarian monarchy). It is a beautiful and prestigious space to house this exhibition but it also comes with some challenging limitations. Nothing is allowed to touch the walls! In response to this challenge Peter designed and constructed a series of display units – including lighting – that was flat-packed and shipped to Munich along with a mountain of tools. Three 2.7 metre-long crates containing all the display materials arrived at the Einsaulensaal on Tuesday morning and the race began to install the show for the opening on Thursday.
Putting on an exhibition of this scale, on the other side of the world, is an immense undertaking. Peter and partner Hilda Gascard, who jointly form the company Makers 101, have had some experience with this type of international presentation in the past but have been especially fortunate on this occasion to be joined in Munich by about half of the selected artists. All hands were on deck to install the show and the artists will invigilate over the exhibition on rotation for the four days it’s open to the public.
Creative New Zealand is very pleased to have been able to provide some financial support to the project via our International Presentation Fund, and I was especially proud to be able to say a few words at the opening to acknowledge Peter and Hilda’s vision and dedication and to acknowledge the hard work and creativity of the artists.
Most importantly, the exhibition looked fantastic. There was a great turn out at the opening including many key international critics, gallerists and makers.
Take a look at some photos to give you an idea of what's been going on.
Image: Final installation of SPECIALS: a Handshake alumni exhibition.