By cloelea, Oct 2 2017
Lucia Massei, director of the contemporary jewellery school ALCHIMIA in Florence (http://alchimia.it/), says, talking about jewellery: “the jewel represents the gift par excellence. It is one of the oldest responses to an aesthetic and emotional human impulse; it has a special potentiality of communication, and allows to better define the identity of the wearer within a social context.”
One aspect of the definition of contemporary jewellery which is not often mentioned is the symbolic and anthropological values of jewellery. I think it is in part due to the fact that it is an aspect of jewellery that is as ancient as the first creations of jewellery, and consequently it is associated with “traditional jewellery”, in perhaps a negative sense, or at least old fashioned, and not “in tune” with our ultra-modern society, or with Modern Art, as it is sometimes seen as perhaps care-free of all codes and conventions.
The question of the relationship to the body, as perhaps representation of the inner self, and the meaning and expression of jewellery in a wider context is a recurrent interrogation in the world of jewellery exhibitions: “… seeking the original meaning of the ornament as a symbol of deep identification and belonging, at the social and spiritual level, to a specific community” (https://www.adornment-jewelry.com/single-post/2014/02/19/When-Art-Meets-Commerce-The-Kinetic-Sculpture).
The jewel can be seen as an amulet, a talisman, a protective object which is the link or medium of communication between your inner-self and the world around (in a general sense, as the community or society in which you live) or to the other (seen as a specific person in front of you).
I think contemporary jewellery is even more related to this bond that exist between the one who gives away and the one who receives because of the meaning that is given to the jewel created by the artist, in the first place.