Q&A with Moving On collective

Moving On is a London-based collective consisting of 11 jewellery and object designers from 6 different countries. Three years ago they all met at the Royal College of Art in London and ever since operate as a united platform realising international jewellery-related projects. Their previous events included a walking exhibition throughout London in collaboration with the Design Museum, an exhibition at London Design Festival and an interactive promotional event at Schmuck international jewellery fair in Munich.

 

Earlier this year, in April, CURRENT OBSESSION received an email from the collective introducing their new undertaking: a Kickstarter campaign to fund a presentation of their work at Milan Design Week (8 -13 April 2014). The campaign was successfully funded and girls went off to Milano to conquer the design world. CURRENT OBSESSION was following the project and decided to ask some of the collective’s members about their overall experience and whether or not, in their opinion, Milan could become a potential new audience for contemporary jewellery.

 

Questions are answered by: Margaux Clavel (MC), Sofie Boons (SB), Marina Stanimirovic (MS), Izzy Parker (IP), Molly Perrin (MP), Phylicia Gilijamse (PG)

CO:

What was your overall impression of the Fuori Salone ?

MC:

Milan design week seems to be a lot about networking. All the design world seems to gather in this city for a week and this is quite exciting. It seems like anything can happen even if sometimes nothing happens.
SB:

I didn’t see a great deal but I felt that there was some really great things out there, but also a lot of uninteresting things.
IP:

I loved it, it has a good buzz particularly in Tortona and Ventura Lambrate.
MP:

As with all long standing events, there is always room for something new as well as the more established companies. The feedback I got from some viewers was that we were inspiring them and that we reminded them of Milan “back in the day” before things became about big names and brands.
PG:

I wasn’t there throughout the whole week but it was kind of familiar. It is like Schmuck for design/furniture. I didn’t have time to look at a lot of exhibitions but the atmosphere was really nice. Everyone is open for a chat!

CO:

Can you describe how you experienced Fuori Salone?

MC:

Contemporary jewellery could get more important in Milan… This is the right space to show the whole spectrum of the things you make and can work on, like the way many jewellers are making not only jewellery.
SB:

Pleasant, there was a real buzz among the people, and different venues.
MS:

Great, it is very nice to see everyone taking the city to show Design. You constantly meet people that you know and some other that you don’t know! DesignersBlock helped us a lot to apprehend it and make it happen.
IP:

For me it was good research to understand the market and different design districts in Milan.
MP:

Lots to see, lots to do, lots of great people to talk too. Some of the events felt they needed a kick up the backside, like they have been the same for a decade or so.
PG:

Huge! Professional but also fresh, open to new people unlike maybe at Schmuck where fresh blood doesn’t feel as welcome as in Milan.

CO:

Do you think Milano is a potential platform to show contemporary jewellery?

MC:

I think Milan could be a good platform for contemporary jewellery. Milan design week is huge and attracts a very important and international crowd. I think there is a space for jewellery, combined with objects and installations. But they get more interest when the pieces are potentially commercial products. As there are a lot of shop and gallery owners wandering around, a lot of press and bloggers too.
SB:

Yes, it attracts a lot of people with an interest for contemporary design so an opportunity to reach a different and wider audience. In contrast to Schmuck the Fuori Salone shows a wider variation of disciplines within the design range. However, there was, in my opinion, the visitors had little knowledge about contemporary jewellery, therefore the way it is presented is very important and possibly it might take a few years for it to work.
MS:

Yes, I think that it is definitely a future platform to show CJ. But unfortunately, it is too early at the moment the public mind, even for the design world, jewellery is still about “diamond and stuff”.
IP:

Potentially yes, but press are more interested in furniture and lighting design, so if we could get some big magazines/design critics/journos on board that are interested in contemporary jewellery then I think the commercial end of contemporary jewellery could do well.
MP:

Yes. Visually oriented people are in Milan to find new things to enjoy and they are viewing things with the intention to understand them. As well as functional objects, there is a real focus on process and material, which jewellery-making explores in abundance. It’s a perfect match in many ways.
PG:

hmm… not so sure actually. Yes, because there is not that much of it. But then no, because there isn’t that much interest for it in Milan…

CO: What was your overall experience and impression of DesignersBlock space?

MC:

DB was great as they allowed us to show somewhere we would never have been able to show without them. But it was really quiet as it was quite far from the centre. However, people seem to know about DB and some important contacts came (buyers, press). People came because they knew they would find something fresh and different but less professional.
SB:

The space was great, conceptually. The location was less convenient for the public, we did not have great numbers of people pass through the doors. I think it would be really interesting to present in a more central space and maybe even in the main event, to see what that is like.
MS:

The space! It was very particular and beautiful. Unfortunately, the district was new and not very well known which made it a bit quiet.
IP:

Curation was very good, but this year they chose to show in a new district which was a risk and meant there was less foot fall than usual, the district attracted a lot of big names but it was off the beaten track. I’m sure in a few years it will be a very busy district and we will be able to say we were part of what made that happen. DesignersBlock have good contacts in Milan, but of course they are in the furniture and lighting industry, so I felt that I didn’t get that much exposure, but that’s because I showed conceptual art jewellery rather than a commercial range, so my work was out of context. Next year I plan to show a range of big sculptural body pieces as well as a spin off commercial range, so I am more appealing to the audience. It’s all about finding a bridge between the different industries.
MP:

Great big space, at once off the beaten track and near to the central areas. DesignersBlock were very supportive about getting us to Milan and let us be very free with our display. The San Gregorio district of the Milan fair is new and has attracted some interesting designers, e.g. Wallpaper, Handmade and Droog.

CO:

What impressed you in the Fuori Salone and at DesignersBlock?

SB:

I really liked the space and the fact that DesignersBlock are creating opportunities for young designers to present their work in Milan.
IP:

The amount of events going on, there are endless exhibitions put on for the design week which is really enjoyable.
MP:

The volume of people coming to have a look, the variety of what was there.
PG:

The scale. It is a little bit too big!

CO:

Favourite thing you saw?

SB:

The Belgian Reflections stand. 😉
MS:

The Dutch and German section.
IP:

COS exhibition, Bart Hess installation and some great Dutch jewellers Hartog & Henneman.
MP:

Don’t know about favourite things, but turning a corner and coming across some chandeliers with clown faces dancing to ballet music was definitely memorable!
PG:

I liked the Dutch networking evening. The whole setting was nice between the projects of the design academy and the gelato was great.

CO:

Do you feel contemporary jewellery has a chance to become more present in Milan?

MC:

There isn’t much jewellery in the whole fair, so I guess you have more chances to get noticed in Milan than at a jewellery fair.
SB:

Yes, but it will take some time and will require sparking an interest in the public and educating them in some way.
MS: Yes, but we’re gonna have to fight for it…
IP:

I think we will see an increase of jewellery in Milan over the next few years but I have a feeling it will always be battling against furniture and lighting design. For batches of commercial collections I think it will work, but for one-off art jewellery I’m not sure.
MP:

It’s an exciting time for jewellery in Milan, you may find yourself preaching to already converted. As long as what you are presenting is fresh and new, this audience has experience, knows a lot about a breadth of visual culture and often has great taste. This also means they are appreciative.

Thanks to Sophie Main for compiling and editing the original text. The above text has been slightly edited by CURRENT OBSESSION.

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