LAO – LE ARTI ORAFE JEWELLERY SCHOOL in Florence, is organizing an intensive 7-day event devoted to the jewellery world and the complex relationships between artistic research, crafts and design.
The event also aims to focus on the cultural aspects of identity/diversity, which is one of the main topics of the debate in recent years.
Connecting worlds / Artistic research, handicrafts, design, new technologies.
Artistic research, design and quality craftsmanship are closely-linked aspects, sometimes difficult to distinguish. One without the others would not make sense, and each one has its roots in the others.
In recent decades these aspects have been artificially and forcibly set in opposition to each other, but nowadays this trend is changing, to the benefit of mutual attention and integration.
Artistic research has made tremendous progress over the past 40 years, especially in Europe, while in this part of the world quality craftsmanship seemed to be back in a "runner-up" position, and design has been mainly linked to industrial production. The jewellery designer, understood as a person who invents, manufactures and markets his/her products, found significant space in a few countries, such as Germany and the UK, while remaining marginal in Italy.
In recent years, many young people have returned to manual and creative activities (by natural choice or due to unfavorable economic conditions, and supported by new technologies), rediscovering the value of traditional knowledge and skills, until recently considered "outdated" and therefore not very interesting.
An important role in this “return to crafts” is played by new technologies (especially the CAD world), the widespread use of alternative materials, and the ability to combine different skills in the creation of objects to wear ..... the jewel finally seems released from its "dusty" concept and creating jewellery becomes a very palatable field of experimentation.
In different geographical areas, such as Africa and India, craft activity is still a very important aspect of social life. The artifacts are related to family and clan rituals, to social status, to religious and secular celebrations, and materials, as well as work processes, have remained unchanged.
These aspects are a rich heritage, not only to the society in which they have developed, but for all mankind.
The project aims to contribute to the reconciliation of these aspects by presenting the work of some artists (from Europe, China, Russia), some designers and some master craftsmen from Italy, Africa and India.
Schools and academies have an important role in spreading the culture related to artistic research, design, and the transmission of craft traditions and skills.
The FJW project also includes a tribute to the city of Florence, which can boast a glorious past for its "botteghe" and of course for the incomparable glories of its artists, but lives in a present that has slowly depleted this content. A few excellences still survive in the town, and in recent times show signs of revival thanks to some young people who are courageously rediscovering quality craftsmanship.
All the FJW's activities are hosted in the “OLTRARNO” district, the most authentic and active in town, which since 1985 has been the LAO's home.
Fondazione Salvatore Romano, P.zza S.Spirito 29
Istituto dei Bardi, Via dei Michelozzi 2
ZetaEffe Gallery, Via Maggio 47/R
Liceo Artistico Statale di Porta Romana, Piazzale Porta Romana 9
LAO, Via dei Serragli 104
Chiostro delle Leopoldine, P.zza Tasso
Istituto Pio X Artigianelli, Via dei Serragli 104
OPENING CEREMONY: Thursday, May 28 at 18.00. Santo Spirito Cloister
EXHIBITIONS / 28 May – 3 June /
Mimì Moscow, Nora Fok, Bifei Cao, Wang Zhenghong, Wang Kezhen
PREZIOSA YOUNG 2015: Han Sang Deok, Jie Sun, Tithi Kutchamuch, Seoyeon Lee, Daniela Hedman
WORKSHOPS AND JEWELLERY PRESENTATIONS / 31 May – 2 June /
Philip Sajet - “Please, no diamonds today”
Xavier Monclús – “Objet Trouvé”
LECTURES / 29 May /
Maria Cristina Bergesio, Art critic and teacher, Florence: “New craft. Artigianalità e gioiello contemporaneo”
Mandy Fung, Two Cities Gallery, Shanghai: “The Development of Chinese Contemporary Jewelry”
Martina Dempf, Jewellery Designer and Social Anthropologist, Berlin: „A Cosmos of African Jewellery- Traditional and Contemporary Concepts in Black African and Muslim Societies“.
Barbara Schmidt, Jewellery designer, director of the Akademie für Gestaltung, Munich: “Contemporary Jewelry - Innovation or Mimesis? Insights from Germany”
Costanza Menchi, Fashion Research Consultant, Florence: “Jewels in the Movies”
Shruti Agrawal, Gunjan Shruti Jewellery, Mumbai: “The Marriage of Ornaments, Symbolism and the Hindu Woman”
SPECIAL SECTIONS / 28 May – 3 June /
• The magical of India (curator, Ganjam Nagappa & Son, Bangalore)
- An Indian goldsmith will give a live demonstration on traditional crafts
- Exhibition of B/W images about traditional goldsmiths' workshop of India
- Exhibition of a small collection of important traditional pieces from India
- I'm not just a skilled worker! A short video realized along with traditional South Indian jewellery makers
• Traditional Jewellery from Africa (curator, Martina Dempf)
- Exhibition of a collection of traditional jewellery from various African Countries;
- Exhibition of contemporary jewellery created in occasion of workshops realized by Martina Dempf in Rwanda
NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR GOLDSMITHS AND ARTISTS / 30 May /
CAD, 3D printing, Innovative lost-wax casting, Laser soldering
THE MASTER CRAFTSMEN / 30 May – 3 June /
Some excellent craftsmen will give a public demonstration of their work.
GUIDED VISITS / 28 May – 3 June /
Visits to crafts workshops, museums, galleries, gardens and secret itineraries in Florence. A map (on paper) with the addresses of these locations and of all the events will be distributed to the FJW's visitors.
LAO'S 30TH ANNIVERSARY / 31 May and 1 June /
The school is organizing a meeting between alumni, from different generations and from all over the world, who have remained emotionally attached to the school and to Florence; it will include a “brain-storming” discussion and cultural exchanges through the stories of the participants' professional experiences in different countries. The meeting will also be an opportunity to officially launch the creation of the "international network of exchange and collaboration" among LAO's former students.