Exploring the Use of Organic Materials in Jewelry

Review for Art Jewelry Forum of ‘Animalia – Collection of Splendor & Pastel’, running January 19-August 30, 2020, CODA Museum Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

The exhibition Animalia contains pastels, objects, and jewelry depicting animals, such as Helen Britton’s spider brooch or Alexander Blank’s evil rabbit. Some are also made of animals: bone, for example, a fly, or a stuffed wattlebird turned into a necklace by the artistic duo Idiots. Although Animalia is meant as a tribute to nature and an invitation to admire its details, I puzzle over this: Where do I stand when it comes to animal material in contemporary jewelry? []

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Photo: Idiots (Afke Golsteijn, Floris Bakker), Mini Bird, necklace, 2015, taxidermy wattlebird (Platysteira cyanea), felt, glass beads, pearls, textile, featured in Animalia, 2020, collection of CODA Museum Apeldoorn, photo courtesy Galerie Door