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"A Sense of Place, New Jewellery from Northern Lands" opens at the Grand Gallery, National Museum of Scotland
Brooches by Beth Legg, Caithness, Scotland.

EDINBURGH.- Specially designed jewellery by 16 contemporary makers from Northern Europe features in A Sense of Place, New Jewellery from Northern Lands, a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

Jewellers from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Scotland were asked to create jewellery inspired by a place they love, as well as draw inspiration from each other’s work.

The artists were asked to choose a place which is special to them and fill a box with objects and materials reflecting their chosen place. Each ‘Topophilia’ (love of place) box forms a three-dimensional sketchbook of their observations - encapsulating the memories, atmosphere, and history of each place. Each artist then created a piece of jewellery in response to their place. The boxes were then redistributed anonymously, and at random, among the artists, who each created a second piece inspired by the new box.

The project was initiated by jeweller Beth Legg, as part of a doctorate research project at eca (Edinburgh College of Art), working closely with Rose Watban, Senior Curator of Applied Art and Design, National Museums Scotland.

Rose Watban said: ‘This is a new and innovative project and we’re delighted with the results. The jewellery on display is varied, beautiful and echoes the atmosphere of much-loved places - from stormy sea coasts to urban city centres.’

Beth Legg said: ‘In this diverse group of new work, we can observe poetic responses to feelings of belonging through the language of making. These jewellery artists are storytellers of personal narratives of place and this project is a celebration of our cultural links through our lived experience of our environment, forming new connections to our place in the world.’

The pieces on display include brooches, necklaces and pins and are made from a wide variety of natural materials such as wood, bone, slate and stone, as well as silver, pearls and diamonds.

Norwegian jeweller, Ingjerd Hanevold from Asker, received her second box, by artist Tarja Tuupanen from Finland, on the day of the massacre by Anders Behring Breivik. The box contained empty picture frames, and Ingjerd’s response was to create 77 beautiful pearl pins to commemorate the victims and reflect her sense of despair.

A brooch made of antlers and wood by Tobias Alm from Stockholm, Sweden, was inspired by a box of similar natural materials by Eija Mustonen, Ylämaa, Finland. A necklace of delicate concrete houses by Caroline Holt, from Edinburgh, was inspired by a box by Swedish artist Jenny Klemming, telling the story of a storm which swept away a village in 1872.

The jewellers taking part are:

Sweden - Tobias Alm, Rut-Malin Barklund, Sofia Björkman, Sara Borgegǻrd, Jenny Klemming

Scotland - Grace Girvan, Caroline Holt, Beth Legg

Norway - Ingjerd Hanevold

Iceland - Hildur ýr Jónsdóttir, Helga Morgensen

Finland - Helena Lehtinen, Nelli Tanner, Tarja Tuupanen, Eija Mustonen

Denmark - Per Suntum

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