OF WAR AND PEACE - EDITORIAL
FAIRS THAT FAIL TO RESPOND TO THE CHALLENGES BORN ON 24 FEBRUARY 2022, ARE DESTINED TO BECOME MEANINGLESS.
By Loukia Richards
Andrzej Szadkowski, "Painful Touch of Time", brooch, 2022. Silver, aluminum, lapis lazuli, paper. Photo: courtesy of the artist.
Close your eyes and think of any Henri Matisse painting. Think of the bright, warm colors of his models' dresses; think of opulent carpets, wallpapers, and tablecloths; of oversized glass bowls holding succulent fruits; of the soft yellow light filtering through the curtains; of comfortable sofas and luxurious fabrics; of harmoniously shaped ceramic vases filled with flowers. Think of the joy and beauty he had so ingeniously captured on canvas and paper. The great master of modernism who lived through two world wars offered us a picture of how blissful peace looks.
Applied arts and crafts, disciplines focusing on decorative and useful objects, are ambassadors of peace. We become aware of it when it is only too late.
Model: Olga Makeeva, jewelry by ZHERNOV Artifactory: "Fairy Ophelia" pendant & "Frogs" earrings. Photo: Polina Naboka.
China and ceramics remind us of the dinner parties we celebrated with friends; dresses and decorations of the special events we attended; jewelry of our life's milestones and family traditions. Collected and loved objects are more than personal, intimate treasures: they are also silent witnesses of the Zeitgeist of our times and elements of our own identity.
War turns objects, memories, and lives into ashes.
Art can build bridges even between 'enemy' countries and can assist the purposes of diplomacy even when negotiations seem futile.
Art can also emphasize the duty of each citizen to defend their country and values when action is needed. In Desastres de la Guerra, the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya etched the invaders' atrocities, turning their crimes against humanity into an eternal stigma for the 19th-century European order.
Jewelry events should also envision promoting the benefits of peace – and, at the same time, offer their unconditional solidarity to the victims of aggression. If fairs and 'art weeks' fail to respond to the challenges born on 24 February 2022, then they may soon find out that, in this new era, they have become obsolete, if not meaningless.
This issue of SMCK, "War And Peace", is dedicated to our fellow artists from Ukraine. They manifest through their videos, statements, and jewelry their country's tragedy, but also their commitment to its rich heritage and their will for themselves, and their culture, to survive.
"Just one bird can show us our freedom: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH 3". Photo: Robert Roelink.