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Athens Jewelry Week: Artemis Valsamaki

Athens Jewelry Week is an annual jewellery festival founded by artists Erato Kouloubi and Niki Stylianou. AJW takes place in different locations throughout the city of Athens, Greece. As a part of Current Obsession Social Club, we are following this year’s AJW programme and initiating a series of interviews with local artists, which you can follow on Current Obsession´s website or our Instagram TV channel.

Last year’s AJW Award winner Artemis Valsamaki  is taking part in Greek tearing celebration of jewellery also this year. As a person who doesn’t take creativity for granted, always exploring and flowing among various grounds, Artemis spoke to Current Obsession about her latest series What Are You Made Of. An intriguing ensemble of shapes, colours and stories that questions life, human behavior and morality.

 

CURRENT OBSESSION

Firstly, what does ´creating´ mean to you?

ARTEMIS VALSAMAKI

Restless  energy.

Your practice seems quite interdisciplinary, how do you perceive yourself: a jeweller, an artist, a designer; and what do those distinctions mean to you?

It’s true that I use practices coming from different fields.  I’m not sure though anymore, if I absolutely  belong in any of the characteristics mentioned above. What I do know is that whatever the practice may be, the intention is more important – and that is to try and give a logical explanation to a nonsensical world by creating another dimension in reality.

In your practice you cover metal with paint – mostly acrylic. The piece becomes a canvas for your visions. Is this maybe a result of your previous graphic design education?

Graphic design was the first education I received and it had an immense impact on my life and of course, on my work later on. The philosophy of communication design has affected the way I create my own visual writing.

The most recurring jewellery form you use is a brooch or a necklace; this type of jewellery is normally associated with the way a person presents themselves to public, and not considered as intimate, as, say a pair of earrings. Can you talk a bit about your choice of jewellery pieces.

From my perspective, it’s the other way round. Especially, brooches which I adore working with, as well as necklaces, come in touch with the chest, where the heart and lungs are located and that is what makes it utterly intimate.

You said that your intention is to create a visual story to be worn. What narratives are you trying to depict? Where is the inspiration coming from?

Life experiences bring up questions in my head; I feel the urge to give answers to those questions. I´m interested in the morality of my stories. The moral of the story at the end of the day is to be honest with ourselves.

Can you please talk more about jewellery you are exhibiting this year during AJW19?

I have been working on a series called What Are You Made Of.  I’m interested in the allegory of our physical body versus our human cravings. I’m commenting on our attitude towards life and how it can manipulate our being. Our behavioral patterns afflict our physical, and therefore spiritual body.

Last year you won AJW18  Award. What has this win changed for you?

I’m grateful for receiving this award. Only positive changes came and motivation to work even more.

What are the perks of being a part of AJW19?

AJW is a living being with a flesh and bones. It’s there to embrace everyone and share its spirit. I’m very happy to be a part of this event.

Jewellery by Artemis Valsamaki

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