I interviewed Marie Masson, one of the seven winners of Preziosa Young 2020, the international contest organised by Le Arti Orafe Jewellery School, the first school dedicated to contemporary jewellery in Italy, founded in 1985 in Florence by Giò Carbone.

Since 2008, Preziosa Young has promoted the creativity of the younger generations, rewarding the proposal of innovative concepts, techniques and materials used, in order to create unique jewels.

This year the winners are all women, selected from 147 applications from all over the world by an international jury composed by curators, artists and jewellery critics, like Giovanni Corvaja, Eugenia Gadaleta, Kazumi Nagano, Cóilín O’Dubhghaill, Renzo Pasquale, Carla Riccoboni, Sam Tho Duong.

Marie Masson will have the opportunity to show her Cockade and Male coquetry jewellery series in occasion of the travelling exhibition PREZIOSA YOUNG 2020, together with Elwy Schutten, Chia-Hsien Lin, Dongyi Wu, Jess Tolbert, Rachael Colley and Zihan Yang, the other winners of this PY edition.

The exhibition starts in Florence in October, then moves to Spain and Germany next year:

  • 29th October – 8th November 2020, Galleria del Palazzo Enrico Coveri, Florence
  • 13th January – 3rd February 2021, Hannah Gallery, Barcelona
  • 12th – 28th February, Atelier Martina Dempf, Berlin
  • Oratory of San Rocco, Padua.

The exhibition was supposed to take place in May during the Florence Jewellery Week, cancelled like many other cultural events due to the consequent restrictions caused by Covid-19, and specifically for that reason other dates and locations are being defined.

Marie Masson takes inspiration from different languages and techniques of decorative arts, let’s discover a bit more about her training and vision about jewellery:

 

Cockade 01 Brooch, 2017.  Leather, pheasant moulting feathers, hematite, metal 70 ø x 5 mm. Photo credits, Marie Masson

 

  • When dealing with contemporary goldsmith artists or jewellery designers, the first curiosity is to know how ornament has been chosen as the main means of expression. Why jewellery in particular and what was your training in this field?

MARIE MASSON: I did my trainings in the National School of Art and Design in Limoges where I got my B.A and M.A design in the contemporary jewellery departement with tutor Monika Brugger. This is one of only two contemporary jewellery workshops in french art schools. Also, I did my studies internship in the Ceramics, Jewellery and Furniture Departement of the Central Saint Martins School in London with tutor Caroline Broadhead. I chose jewellery as medium in my artistic work when I was at my second year of studying. I wanted to speak about the body, postures, gestures, singular / soft materials etc. It was the revelation when I met Monika and when the jewellery workshop was opened!

 

Cockade 01 Brooch, 2017.  Leather, pheasant moulting feathers, hematite, metal, 70 ø x 5 mm. Photo credits, Marie Masson

 

  • You play with the various fields involved in the issue of body decoration, mixing linguistic codes with the aim of questioning the nature of the jewel. Could you tell us about your way of ‘blurring’ the boundaries of jewellery?

M.M.: I like to use and divert many codes in different artistic areas (jewellery, decorative arts, design, fashion, art, painting domains, …). The goal is to offer various visions and interpretations of the same piece. Everybody can identify himself and create his own history through a jewel.

 

Male coquetry 04 Brooch, 2020 Leather, paintbrush hair, hematite, metal,  70 ø x 5 mm. Photo credits, Marie Masson

 

  •  Nowadays when thinking about the differences between genders we have to be open-minded, and jewellery, as a way to express our identity, must reflect this new awareness. In your work the idea of overcoming hierarchies is always present, like those between human being and animal. Could you explain better?

 M.M.: The adornment is universal. Each of us is a singular person in a collective world. Human and animal natural attributes are the first visible adornments. I highlight individual and natural wonders to make one feel special and universal. When I speak about and divert military hierarchic codes between genders, it’s to explain the importance of wearing a jewel and delete differences.

 

Male coquetry 06 Brooch, 2019.  Leather, paintbrush hair, metal, 70 ø x 5 mm. Photo credits, Marie Masson

 

  • Is there an artist or an artistic tendency that inspires or influences you particularly?

M.M.: Hard question! I’m inspired by adornment, art, design, fashion, decorative arts, costume history, etc. For example, the miniatures in painting history, hair jewellery, surrealism movement, fashion haute couture… Many artistic areas can influence me during the creation process.

 

Male coquetry 05 Brooch, 2020. Leather, paintbrush hair, hematite, metal, 70 ø x 5 mm. Photo credits, Marie Masson

 

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