I International Biennial of Contemporary Jewellery

Until January 6, it is possible to visit some of the exhibitions of the I International Biennial of Contemporary Jewellery. Divided into several well-known spaces in the city, such as Museu de Tapeçaria, Convento de São Francisco/Fundação Robinson and Biblioteca Municipal, this exhibition presents pieces by national and foreign artists. It includes renowned professionals and also students. Many of the works were made specifically for this event, taking into account the exhibition spaces. For example, in the case of the Museum, a dialogue was established with its beautiful tapestries. The biennial included 41 artists, presenting works in different styles and materials, including cork, a material that has a historical and economic weight in the region.

The biennial was imagined and materialised by Diana Silva, a contemporary jeweller who lives in Portalegre. She managed to bring together several local entities, but also schools such as Ar.Co, from Lisbon, and Mariano Timón, from Palencia, taking advantage of the proximity to the Spanish border.

According to her creator and curator, the success of this first biennial, which included a seminar at the inaugural weekend, as well as workshops, concerts and meditation sessions, allows them to bet on future editions, with more national and international artists, in addition to the collaboration of more schools and universities.

If, in an event of this kind, which is worth for its whole, it is unfair to highlight specific works, we must highlight the presence of artists such as Fausto Maria Franchi, Ted Noten, Tereza Seabra, Jorge Manila, Manuela de Sousa, Manuel Vilhena, Inês Nunes, Marilia Maria Mira, among many others. It is difficult to highlight pieces. It is worth visiting and witnessing the diversity and quality of contemporary jewellery on display.

About the origin of this project, the founder Diana Silva said:

“It all started when I started living in Portalegre. I visited the city’s museums and fell in love with Manufactura de Tapeçarias, whose history is deeply interesting. This activity has attracted many national and international artists, who intend to work and cooperate with their brilliant artisans. We feel the past in the steps we take in the present. This is evident at Fábrica Robinson, which is a piece of heritage of industrial history. We feel, outside and inside its walls, the soul of the people who worked there.

After this immersion in the city, and in the surrounding natural landscape, the idea of spontaneously organising a contemporary jewellery biennial emerged, in a conversation with my friend and colleague Pedro Sequeira, in a weekend where, by apparent chance, we met in Lisbon – apparent because chance is never accidental.”


By Marta Costa Reis

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