Do you think that jewelry is being standardizing?
The same way as there are trends in art, design or fashion there are also trends in jewellery art. Whether this is because of globalization or due to the peculiar phenomena of the same thing emerging at different places during the same time is debatable. But it is only natural that jewellers get inspiration and feed of each other.
Karin – I think that as long as you are not actively trying to copy a certain style or expression just because it has been appreciated by others before, it can be very helpful to watch other people’s work to get inspiration.
Sanna – I would like to add that it is important to stay updated and keep track of the history so you know what, who and what time period you are referencing with your work.
What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
Karin - When I am working my thought and ideas seams very “local”. I often start with a naive notion that this is something completely new. Along the way I often discover that many others have had the same ideas. I love repeating elements and patterns -both the view of a dynamic multiplicity, and the act of making the same thing over and over. It becomes like a kind of meditation. This is something I know I share with many others.
Sanna - To me it is important to connect locally with the heritage and the past. If I relate to traditional material and techniques, even if I adjust them to fit my purpose, it feels like I am part of developing a tradition and my hope is to bring new light on old crafts.
What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
Karin - It depends on what kind of exhibition and what kind of pieces I show. But the best feeing is when someone really wants to wear a piece, when they start to talk about what associations it gives them and when they return to that special piece after finishing “the round”. When a piece “hooks” a viewer.
Are other areas besides the jewelry, present in your work?
Sanna - For me photography is an important part of my jewellery work. By placing a piece on a wearer and then evolving it by placing the wearer in a scene I can give an additional dimension to the piece. It is important for me to add information about size and relation to the body, but also to point the jewels in the direction of what kind of feeling I want to convey. The ultimate is to get a photo that also stands for it self, so it becomes an additional piece of work.
Karin - To me writing is sometimes very helpful. Trying to describe what I do and why puts the work into a context and helps me to develop the pieces.
The last work, book, film, that has moved me was...
We recently gave our friend Hanna Liljenberg a brooch by Attai Chen for her birthday. When opening the box to have a sneak peak before giving it away we could not help from screaming out loud – it was such a beautiful thing lying there. It looked almost like a small bird, very delicate and sensitive.
A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
Sanna - While answering this interview I am currently in the rural parts of Ghana. Here I surely can see creativity everywhere, as many people are making something out of nothing. But at the same time society is held in a firm grip by old traditions and it seems to be keeping creativity back. There are strict rules of who is allowed to do what, and gender roles are still written in stone. There is one private art school in Ghana, and you can study ceramics on university level but those who can afford to get an education tend to invest it in study medicine, engineering and other high status educations. I don’t think the amazing craftsmanship that the woodcarvers, brass casters and cloth weavers posses really is valued high enough, and their doings is just a natural part of everyday life.
is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot?
Karin - I was quite blown away (and I know I was not the only one) by the pieces by Tore Svensson presented at Schmuck this year. These quite small flat brooches expressed so much tenderness and sincerity. They just hit me right through the glass on the showcases and the loud crowd around me.
What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
For us as Diagonal, a big breaking point was the opportunity to do an internship with klimt02 in 2010. It lead to the very interesting and developing job in the jewellery community that we are now doing. During the time we lived in Barcelona we also started several projects, one of which lead to that we did our first exhibition in The Swedish church during Schmuck 2011. That was a nerve-racking but fantastic experience. We had over 350 visitors at our show, made new connections and it gave us the possibility to show work by 13 young female artists to the international crowd. We did a new show in the same venue this year, and are now making plans for the 2013-version. There is a huge satisfaction in finding a way of working creatively as a team. On the “jewellery art missionary tour” we need to work together to bring more attention to the field.