Gone Astray

Gone Astray

Jewellery and utensils on the fringe of reason

We spend a lifetime surrounded by objects we deem necessary: to use, to wear, or because they are beautiful. They run the gamut from tools and devices to jewellery and objects. We are intimately acquainted with not only their purpose, but also with their form, materiality, and even physical weight. Yet, we rarely give these objects a great deal of thought; simply using them until they are disposed of in the bin, or forgotten at the back of a drawer. Granted, the form and functionality of the objects are supposed to be connected, but in today’s world so much is happening, and there are so many other possibilities. It’s high time we took another look at things. Gone Astray – jewellery and utensils on the fringe of reason is a collaboration between CODA Museum Apeldoorn and Ellen Maurer-Zilioli; an exhibition bringing together works by twenty-nine artists from both the Netherlands and abroad, on view at CODA from 17 May to 22 September 2024. In more than 150 objects, it shows how these makers expand and adapt the traditional rules or clichés of jewellery making, at times diverging from them entirely. It plays provocatively on our expectations with regard to objects, encouraging us to look at the world differently – sometimes with a smile, at others with a raised eyebrow, but always firmly shaking the dust from the familiar and comforting.

The grand opening of Gone Astray takes place at CODA at 5 PM on Friday 17 May. If you’d like to attend, please register by clicking on the green button below.

Jewellery is a wide-ranging field both in scale and complexity. Extending from small, minimalist rings to large vessels and tableware, it spans everything from classical gold and gemstone pieces, to innovative creations that make artistic, idealistic, and sometimes even political statements. Without exception, all of the artists in Gone astray have trained as jewellers. But this generation is no longer concerned solely with prestige and beauty, or with perfection and functionality. And the work in this collection represents neither an academic exercise, nor the study of form for its own sake: it has a tangible, underlying urgency, reflecting a need for essential innovation and social engagement. From the relative solitude of their studios, artists seek ways of relating to a shifting world undergoing change on many fronts. Within their work, they draw on a wide range of disciplines, techniques, and visual codes, directed toward an arrival at unexpected perspectives and unpredictable solutions. Notably however, traditional craftsmanship persists in playing a dominant role in their working methods.

The choice of materials acts as yet another source of inspiration, with many investigating the possibilities of substances such as salt, sugar, textiles, marble, and plastic. Just as the precious metals and gemstones typically employed in classical jewellery, these alternative media have their own specific characteristics and meanings that contribute to the overall narrative. Even the use of waste materials, in the widest sense of the word, adds a whole new dimension to the concept of recycling.

The artists in this exhibition share striking perspectives and surprising innovations, offering us ideas and solutions for problems that we didn’t even realised existed. Together, they seek the path to a distinctly different, more beautiful, and perhaps even a better world.

Karen Pontoppidan | Hammer | 2018 | Silver, glue

Myra Mimlitsch-Gray | Skillet | 2007 | Cast iron

Markus Pollinger | Theepot | 2020 | Verzilverd koper, staal

Karen Pontoppidan | Iron | 2017 | Silver, glue

Karolina Hägg | Teapot | 2013 | Sugar, silver

Participating artists

Tobias Alm, Sawa Aso, Astrid Becksteiner-Rasche, Naama Bergman, Tobias Birgersson, Beatrice Brovia/Nicolas Cheng, David Clarke, Kanako Ebisawa, Ute Eitzenhöfer, Åsa Elmstam, Anne Fischer, Karolina Hägg, Nils Hint, Kateřina Jirsová, Junwon Jung, Anders Ljungberg, Kateřina Michálková, Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, Eija Mustonen, Markus Pollinger, Karen Pontoppidan, Anna Rikkinen, Hans Stofer, Vivi Touloumidi, Tarja Tuupanen, Luzia Vogt, Stella Wanisch, Jing Yang.

Ellen Maurer-Zilioli
Ellen Maurer-Zilioli studied art history, history, and anthropology at the universities of Munich and Basel. She works as a curator, author, and art consultant, and has a large number of exhibitions, publications, and other projects to her name. In 2016, CODA worked with Zilioli and Museum Villa Stuck on Private confessions, an exhibition at CODA Museum featuring drawings and jewellery by approximately thirty-five artists from the Netherlands and elsewhere. The Gone astray exhibition has previously been held at Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, in Germany.