Swedes at Salts in September
Swedish Art Jewellery

17th Sept – 8th Nov 2015

‘Vanitas’ fly pins in iron, silver and oil paint

‘Vanitas’ fly pins in iron, silver and oil paint

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Hanna Liljenberg

With my background as a painter I tend to use paper or blank metal sheets as a starting point for my jewellery. These foldable materials urge for my attention and I love their possibilities. Paper especially has the expressive qualities that I'm looking for and is both light and flexible. I find there is something meditative in cutting and folding hundreds and hundreds of paper pieces, which I then use as building blocks in the construction of my jewellery. Paper makes it possible for me to connect a huge amount of items to each other without making the piece heavy and non-portable. No other material has offered me that same potential. 

I grew up on the west coast of Sweden so I have always felt a strong connection to the ocean. Many of my sources of inspiration comes from there. I love delicate but rough surfaces like seaside barnacles or rock lichens, which are both very fragile and strong.

In Yearn (2013) I worked with my somewhat ambiguous relationship to the ocean. It feels like part of me, yet I am scared of the world hidden under the surface. Even so, whenever I am distanced from the ocean I get a sense that something is missing or stolen from me. These pieces of jewellery tells the story of this yearning. 

Vanitas (2014) is inspired by Dutch still life paintings from the eighteenth century with decaying flowers and dark undertones. I created a floral painting made out of brooches in shape of flowers, bright colored on front but with blackened backsides and small houseflies, to represent transience. When you then use the jewellery to decorate yourself you will tear down the painting in the case of your vanity. 

The human body’s ability to both amaze and dismay captivates me so the idea of people wearing my pieces as an extension of themselves is very intriguing. My jewellery becomes a manmade growth to dress the body. These ornaments – with their fragile sharpness – needs you to adapt to what you are wearing, and by that enhance the importance of attendance in the present.

Biographical Details