3 February 2020

All of the eight lectures that were presented during SIERAAD Art Fair were inspired by what occupied the mind of Marjan Unger, the jewellery expert who died last year. She had wide-ranging interests, from contemporary jewellery made of glass to trends in jewellery houses. Costume historian Bianca du Mortier spoke about the button. Initially a nifty way to ‘button-up’ clothing, it subsequently became a decorative object that took over the looks of entire wardrobes. During another lecture young makers Kalkidan Hoex, Gabriel Guevara and Margherita Chinchio compared the new ways in which they sold their jewellery. What really inspires us to collect jewellery became clear in a lecture by the philosopher Cees Leijenhorst. That it has definitely something to do with deeply felt pleasure became clear from the enthusiasm of collectors Christina en Menno Vermeulen-Meiners who spoke about their jewellery and lapel pins. Chequite Nahar, an artist with Suriname roots, explained that her jewellery is often based on the so-called tapu’s, small holders that contain something that protects you or makes you strong. She first submits her new designs to her grandmother who knows a lot about the traditions. Yet another designer, Fatimah Essahsah, travels back and forth to Marocco to rescue antique Berber jewellery from oblivion. In this part of the world and revamped, it is highly successful. Whatever the theme of the lecture, the name of Marjan Unger was frequently mentioned; at the end of each lecture the speaker received a box of chocolates, for Marjan loved them, especially when they were beautifully made.

Speakers and panellists: John de Greef, Femke Diercks, Bianca du Mortier, Melvin Anderson, Evert Nijland, Mieke Groot, Astrid Hertog, Chequita Nahar, Kalkidan Hoex, Gabriel Guevara, Margherita Chinchio, Fred Brom, Bertwin Heyse, Henrietta Lidchi, Fatima Essahsah, Willem Noyons, Christina Vermeulen-Meiners, Menno Vermeulen en Cees Leijenhorst.

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