Joya – Barcelona Art Jewellery Fair
Joya Artistic Jewellery Fair is an event held in Barcelona every year, around the second week of October. Exhibitors from all over the world meet there to present their work, participate in thematic seminars and numerous exhibitions and workshops.
Joya is an open event: in practice, it means so much that you do not need to be a member of a gallery or an artist to enter the fairgrounds. The admission ticket costs 5 euros – and it covers the entire duration of the event. Anyone who is interested in jewellery can meet with artists, talk with them about their work, inspirations or their favorite material. I must admit that personally I was surprised how many topics may inspire a creation of the collection – but let’s start from the beginning:
In addition to the fair, during Joya, a number of other exhibitions and workshops related to jewelry take place. You should know that their duration is different, and some start in the week preceding the main event – so it is a good idea to arrive early to Barcelona.
Unfortunately, I was unable to visit all the anticipated attractions – some of them were hard to find, not to mention the fact that I was there only three days.
The first and very charming place which I found was Taller de joyeria el lavadero.
The exhibition was showed to me by Isabel Herrera – an artist who creates jewelry with an organic design. It turned out that earlier, instead of the gallery, there was a place where women washed clothes. Then a part of the room was rented by a group of actors who organized rehearsals for performances there. Eventually the place was turned into a studio of a few talented goldsmiths.
Pictured above the exhibition which took place in the gallery.
Another of the exhibitions was in the store Loewe.
The artist Ramon Puig Cuyas, presented there his brooches. Some of them have been converted into graphics and used in the form of iron-on transfer which could be bought on the spot.
Extremely interesting was a joint project by Tasso Mattar and the artists from La Claque. The exhibition was titled T13 and presented a kind of interpretation of jewelry by Tasso Mattar. Each of the young artists of La Claque referred to the selected object in an artistic way, treating it as an inspirational base for their own work of art. As a result, the work of jewelery gained a new context in which it was presented at the exhibition.
For example, in the picture above we can see a small brooch by Tasso Mattar that looks like a house with flames which is represented by red coral (a tiny object on the left). The author of the graphics, Alberto Tercero, wondered what could cause a fire in the building and gave free rein to his imagination to create the work above.
One of the broader and more cross-section exhibitions was the one titled Bijoux en Jeu, located in the Museu del DISSENY de Barcelona. There is a rich publication to the the exhibition in the form of a catalog, which really is worth a read.
It is time to move to the right part of the report, that is concerning directly Joya Artistic Jewelery Fair. The first thing that struck me upon entering the hall was the scale of the event and presentation of individual artists. Accustomed to large commercial jewelry fairs, I expected more space. I liked that the stands were not divided into boxes, thus making it easier to find specific exhibitors. It also facilitated the interaction between the artists. Each of the artists had the same table to use and despite the fact that the exhibitions and works differed from each other significantly, the whole seemed cohesive.
A great experience for me was encountering spatial works, which I had seen so far only on flat pictures in catalogs or the Internet. I also had the opportunity to talk about jewelry with its authors and learn a bunch of interesting things. Each person I met at the fair was different – with their own history and approach to design. Some of works centered around the theme of the human body – you can see it for example in the work of people like Sebastien Carre, Zeta Tsermou or Alina Carp. Others sought inspiration in unusual materials to create jewelry such as filters for cigarettes, rice, rubber or eggs.
Below I prepared a review of a dozen selected works to bring a shape of presented contemporary art jewelery in Barcelona.
At the fair, except for individual exhibitors, you could also find art galleries:
Joya took place in Santa Monica Arts Centre – it turned out that at the same time on the first and second floors of the building took place an exhibition of dolls called The 7 Doors of Otherness. Some of the exhibits could give you goose-bumps, plus the atmosphere was built with the light, strange sounds and the fact that some of the puppets were moving automatically in their own time sequences.
If you happen to visit the fair Joya next year, I recommend to find a magic place, which is La Basilica Galeria. It is located in the old town, hidden in one of the side streets full of antique and souvenir shops. You will find there a collection of jewelry from around the world both gold and silver, as well as the one from unusual materials – all for sale. I think that this kind of souvenir brought from Barcelona is something far more unique than the figure imitating Gaudi sculpture, made in China.
At the end a few pics of October Barcelona.