Solo exhibition “Cardboard Jewellery” by jewellery designer and creator Francine Oeyen.
Francine Oeyen was born and raised in Argentina, but currently lives and works in London, UK. She studied Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, specializing in Painting and in 2013 she obtained a Master’s degree in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins University in London (United Kingdom).
The main characteristic of the artist’s work is her untraditional way of using discarded materials, such as cardboard, paper, rubber and yarn among others. She paints and hand embroiders her colourful and engaging pieces, mixing traditional crafts in a contemporary way. The artist sees handcrafts as a disappearing part of our cultural heritage and seeks to combine this legacy with a post modern look, bringing it to the 21st century life. Works labeled with a fusion of traditional and modern solutions not only stand out by their playfulness, but also encourage the viewer to reflect and debate.
Such aspects are well reflected in the works presented at the artist’s exhibition “Cardboard Jewellery”. As a discipline, Jewellery links the applied decorative arts and traditional crafts and is usually associated with precious metals and precious or semi-precious stones, but not with everyday life materials. Nevertheless, the title of the exhibition itself implies the idea that exactly such material, in this case cardboard, is used to create a collection. In this way the artist questions the idea of value and luxury present in jewelry and invites the viewer to discuss the importance of materials and the origin of the concept of value. Who plays a key role in the construction of the jewellery value? What are the most important criteria in defining it? What is the role of matter in this case? What is the role of jewellery in today’s society?
With an array of brightly colored pieces in a variety of forms, the artist invites the viewer to reflect on to the use of expensive materials in jewelry and their relation with the contradictions in our society. In this case, the traditional associations of jewellery as a symbol of power and luxury coexist with the ideas of social exclusion present in the use of cardboard.
The creator’s jewelry collection features multiple layers of a bright and playful visual story, but also includes deeper thoughts related with social, cultural and economic spheres.