Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kaj Franck Design Prize 2013: jewellery artist Björn Weckström (exhibition)

Necklace Planetaariset laaksot / Planetary Valleys worn by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in Star Wars / Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). Silver, 1969. Photo: Lucasfilm, Ltd. Björn Weckström 2013, Kaj Franck Design Prize Catalog.
Kaj Franck Design Prize 2013 – Björn Weckström. 15 November–14 December 2013. Design Forum Showroom, Erottajankatu 9 B (inner courtyard), Helsinki. Mon–Sat 11am–6pm, Sun closed, free entrance

The press release: "The Kaj Franck Design Prize of 2013 awarded by Design Forum Finland has been given to professor, jewellery artist and sculptor Björn Weckström. The prize is one of the most eminent design prizes in Finland and was now awarded for the 22nd time."

"Björn Weckström is a reformer of Finnish jewellery art, whose unique style has aroused both national and international attention since the 1960s. He was among the first designers to combine new materials such as acrylic with traditional precious metals. He created jewellery, among other work the renowned Space Silver collection, that was both miniature sculpture and miniature landscapes. In addition to his extensive output, mostly for the Lapponia Jewelry company, Weckström has also created impressive works in sculpture, many of them inspired by the mythology of Antiquity."

"The prize jury stated that Björn Weckström’s identity as an artist is of a markedly classical orientation. It is based on a thorough knowledge of culture, crafts skills, his vision as an artist, and ethical standpoints. Weckström has explicitly sought to provoke and pose questions in both his jewellery and sculptures and he has been attuned to his times in an uncompromising and astute manner. The members of the prize jury of 2013 were Pentti Kivinen / Finnish Fair Foundation (chairman of the jury); Professor Heikki Orvola; Arto Ruokonen / Desigence Oy; Ulla Uimonen / Nokia Plc, and Mikko Kalhama / Design Forum Finland."

"The Kaj Franck Design Prize is awarded annually to a designer or team innovatively creating both high-quality industrial design and unique, one-off works. The winners of the prize represent comprehensively top Finnish design. The prize sum of €10,000 is donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation. The prize also includes a medal designed by Tapio Junno and an exhibition presenting the prizewinner’s oeuvre. The Kaj Franck Design Prize 2013 exhibition will be on show at Design Forum Showroom 15 November – 14 December 2013."

There are the jewels with their rugged elegance, with a touch of something primordial, including Princess Leia's necklace.

There are the bigger than life sculptures of neo-mythological subjects, prophetic of cyberpunk and the era of genetic engineering, always based on well-endowed athletic men. Film associations range from Metropolis to Alien to RoboCop.

There are the acrylic sculptures and the glass creations.

An intensive showcase of Björn Weckström. Anne Veinola's essay "Myth and landscape" in the exhibition catalogue is worth reading. The motto: "I think with my hands". The chapters: - Origins - Lapland Gold - Space Silver - Reflections of Light - Sculpture - Myth - Dynamics - Time.

Master glassblower Jaakko Niemi and Björn Weckström in the early 1980s. The impossible became possible when working with Jaakko. Photo: Björn Weckström's Archive.
Björn Weckström and sculptures Helios and Daidalos.
Photo: Liisa Valonen.

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