Exhibitions27 10 2018 — 22 12 2018
JIRO KAMATA Mother
The relationship between jewellery pieces and the elements they are made of is peculiar. How ever high the artistic quality of a piece, it's very likely its value will be eclipsed by that of the precious metals, gemstones and pearls applied in it. The revolution, during the past century, which lay the foundation for the new medium of art jewellery, was for a considerable part dealing with the issue of finding alternative materials. Aluminum, plastics or wood suddenly offered stimulating challenges, and for many years gold and diamonds were off limits, and silver was only barely acceptable... Those tenets had and have long shadows.
The Munich based, Japanese jewellery artist Jiro Kamata still feels the influence of this old struggle when deciding on what to work with. So for his new pieces he didn't choose traditional pearls, but let himself be seduced by the long standing allure and beauty of mother of pearl.
Mother of pearl has a remarkably self-explanatory name: the material that is capable of altering intruders in oysters and mussels into pearls, also covers the inside of their shells, yet in a far more unrestrained, free way. Mother of pearl may be made up, in simple terms, from mere calcium carbonate and protein, yet its richness in colours and depth is astonishing: iridescent areas are overflowing in a wide spectrum of whites and greys. So the artist choose the cradle, preferred the birthplace to the pearl.
As a first step in search of new options Kamata made drawings with a multitude of overlapping curves, from which he selected the forms of his new brooches. He turned them into thin Corian elements which he subsequently covered on one side with hand cut fragments of mother of pearl. In doing so, he gave each piece a unique, sharp and varied pattern. It does full justice to the outstanding properties of the material, and makes for a beautiful contrast with the smooth, flowing lines of the contour of the brooch.
Are they, as the title of the exhibition seems to suggest, portraits of a mother, the mother? On internet Kamata found a Youtubemovie called 'One word: Mother', in which 50 women aged between 5 to 50 are asked to define the phenomenon mother in just one word... The results are remarkably different: from rock to frustrating, and from pretty to blessing. Perhaps the contours of these brooches somehow reflect those descriptions? Anyhow, during the exhibition the - black mirroring - backside of each piece will display one of these words.
(© Galerie Rob Koudijs)