A Confluence of Ideas: The Secret Language of Art

The LdM Jewelry Design and Fashion Department recently hosted a seminar dedicated to the students of The LdM School of Design. I had the opportunity to attend the seminar and hear from the fascinating Nichka Marobin.

jewelry 2 post 2

Nichka Marobin is a Dutch and Flemish art historian. She focuses her work on the migration of forms, themes and styles. The seminar was broken up into two different parts. The first part focused on Nichka’s exhibition that she curated in September 2016 “Les Confluences: Ramon Casas and Contemporary Jewelry”.

Nichka began “Les Confluences” by studying the works of Ramon Casas. She chose ten pieces of art in which she saw the works of contemporary jewelers in. She then sent photos of the paintings to the jewelers telling them that she found a similarity between both artists’ designs. The artists all agreed that they found themselves within Ramon Casas’ pieces. Nichka asked the designers if they wanted to make a piece related to the paintings, however, the pieces had already existed. She then connected the specific pieces of jewelry to the paintings of Ramon Casas, tying the exhibition together.
One piece Nichka took from Ramon’s collection “Dama amb Foulard Vermell” (1901) portrays the rise of women and the awareness of femininity. She connected the work of art to a pair of earrings made by Karin Johnson. Johnson’s pair of earrings and the painting create a dialogue together. Movement is the main confluence of the combination. The movement of the scarf tied around the woman (see above) connects to the movement of the long twisted dangly earrings. The colors, textures, and movement of both pieces coincide together and have a clear correlation.

“A confluence is a bridge focused on materials colors, textures flourishing firstly from the paintings and then connected to the use of precious materials in jewelry giving birth to a dialogue of ideas”, Nichka states.jwy image

jewelry 2 post

The second part of the seminar focused on another project of Nichka’s called, “Les Metissages”. Similar to “Les Confluences”, the exhibition focuses on the concepts of migration of forms and ideas, this time combining jewelry with fashion creations.

“Fashion and contemporary jewelry speak a language that everyone understands” Nichka states. The “Metissages” project explores the connection between fashion and contemporary jewelry, providing a new range of perspectives and a new grammar of beauty.

One combination of fashion and jewelry pieces in the “Metissages” exhibition, was of one of Catherine O’Leary’s dresses with a broche designed by Keiko Kume. Both artists are interested in how atmosphere reacts with air and open spaces (see above).  When Nichka brought the two artists together, they were both astonished that another artist had the same idea and created a piece so similar to their own.

Art, fashion, and contemporary jewelry all originate from artists with unique ideas and perspectives. By studying both of these exhibitions curated by Nichka Marobin, “Les Confluences” and “Les Metissages” it is fascinating to discover how several artists, unknown to one other, can conceive the same idea and achieve similar aesthetic results in different fields and mediums, much like fashion and contemporary jewelry.



caroline bensonCaroline Benson attends The University of Georgia where she majors in Digital Marketing. Her interest in jewelry and accessories developed at a young age through her work at a family-owned jewelry business based out of Rhode Island. Caroline has developed the company’s e-commerce presence and currently manages all of their marketing efforts. Having been exposed to this industry for several years, she cannot wait to learn all about the handmade jewelry and the history behind it all right here in Florence! Caroline wishes to pursue a career in e-commerce after graduation.