The creative ideas of young craftspeople, creatives, and designers are showcased in the special exhibition TALENTE as part of the Internationale Handwerksmesse. Despite the cancellation of the leading trade fair for handicrafts in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the jury of experts has determined the 2020 TALENTE award winners. The ideas of ten creative minds from nine different countries are hereby honoured virtually.
Glass, stone, wood, ceramics, leather, metal, paper, textiles, furniture, and jewellery – every year, the special exhibition TALENTE, part of the Internationale Handwerksmesse, showcases works from different areas of design. In this year’s edition, works by around 100 designers from 14 trades and 30 countries would have been on display if the Internationale Handwerksmesse 2020 in Munich had not been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, the most outstanding designers have been awarded the renowned TALENTE prize. The winners are:
Rose Ekwe, France – Materials and Technique
Rose Ekwe's impressed the jury with her approach to producing innovative textiles from naturally existing raw material which is also biodegradable. Ekwe hereby addresses a particularly sensitive topic because the sustainability of the materials used is a major problem, particularly in the textile industry. Another admirable aspect of her textiles is the skin-friendly quality of the material.
Isabelle Mackay-Sim, Australia – Ceramics
Isabelle Mackay-Sim’s works attracted the jury because of their sensual surface design. The artist uses clay in a very conscious way and the joy of kneading the clay is clearly noticeable in her work. Furthermore, the works are very mysterious and awaken the desire to explore them with your eyes and hands. In addition, the objects deliver a clear commentary (without being moral) on the contemporary pursuit of a perfect body.
Jordan Furze, Great Britain – Jewellery
The jury was impressed by the contemporary political references in Jordan Furze’s jewellery as an immediate reaction to events in the form of a comment. The rings from the group “Nation Divided” are designed in reference to “Brexit” in every detail, be it the surface, the shape, the texture, or the colour. This consistency regarding design and content convinced the jury.
Kristina Neumann, Australia – Jewellery
The jury was captivated by the strong concept in the works by Kristina Neumann. Many students of today’s generation live with their parents for a long time and are in no hurry to move out because of strong familial relationships. The majority of this generation seems to be searching for security and stability. Kristina Neumann’s works can be regarded as talismans for the younger generation. The jury was also fascinated by the idea of hanging jewellery that is in motion, of which the conceptual sense is to be understood as: the necklace hangs close to the heart and when the wearer moves, the object carefully distances itself from the body. The jewellery thus represents the role of the apartment or house.
Dirk Vaessen, Netherlands – Plastic
Dirk Vaessen's shoulder and head pieces from the “Brave Hendrik” series show a new type of clothing thanks to the choice of material – plastic – and the design, which allows for a wealth of associations while also reinterpreting the body. The jury praised this openness and desire to experiment as well as the playful approach towards notions of gender, sexuality, and traditions.
Irina Razumovskaya, Russia/Great Britain – Ceramics
The jury was fascinated by the contrasts intrinsic to the objects: on the one hand, they are characterised by a minimalist form, on the other hand, the artist uses an elaborate crumbling, peeling glaze suggestive of transience and decay. The works are reminiscent of birch forests, thus evoking a fairy-tale touch, but also alluding to dilapidated buildings and past glory.
Micaela Mornaghi, Argentina/Great Britain – Stone
Micaela Mornaghi’s series of cutlery-like shapes aims to combine the spiritual and the profane in the form of everyday objects. Her works resemble usable spoons, forks, or knives. However, the beauty of the material, the subtlety of the colours, and the slight transformations of the shape reveal the symbolic nature of the works and underline their amulet character.
Søren Krag, Denmark/Norway – Textile
“Enûma Eliš” by Søren Krag deals with a traditional theme in a very modern way. He works with the medium of tapestry in order to convey universally valid content, but designs it using a combination of shapes and ornaments from different eras and styles, digital images, and digital weaving. In this way he shows how the continuity of tradition has adapted to the changing times in an impressive way.
Sunniva Rademacher Flesland, Norway – Textile
Mending clothes is a nearly lost art. It interesting to see how this apparently humble work is given a modern and sustainable revival. The small patched areas take on an ornamental role, similar to that of jewellery. There is also a playful note in the mending process that highlights elements of childlike improvisation and fantasy and reminds us of a child making something beautiful out of ink stains in their exercise books.
Vlastimil Šenkýř, Czech Republic – Glass
Vlastimil Šenkýř's “Lapis philosophorum” project impressed the jury due to its ability to blur the boundaries between nature and art. The works appear to be like alchemical products in which nature, art, and science meet, hereby documenting the inextricable connection between these areas in today’s world and the manner in which they continuously inspire each other. At the same time, the works fascinate the viewer with their initially almost inconspicuous appearance which then reveals its magnificent character and vibrant colour.