The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. Ulysses – James Joyce
That’s how the art book by Édéenne is starting, and later you will see, why…
When I came to the exhibition by Édéene, I felt – the story is in the air. How? I was asking myself: “How the woman from Longueuil, who started to make jewelry at 45, a divorced single mom at a difficult financial situation has made her way to become the first Canadian name in the world of high jewelry and one of the 4 women who have changed the history of jewelry in the 20th century?” What powerful talent for art and hard work has produced it? My storytelling crave said: “There should be a story behind that!!”
It’s been a while, I wanted to write about storytelling in jewelry. Did not have enough inspiration, probably. No excuses now – I went to the exhibition of jewelry by Édéenne, organized in Montreal by The Grands Ballets and BMO. I actually, went there on the first day it was opened, November 2nd, but writing only today because I wanted some time to understand what I feel. And, also, to tell that you have only 3 days left to go! It is on until November 16th.
You know, the thing that attracts me most of all in jewelry, is the story. Two stories. The first one belongs to its creator. Why is the artist making it? What is the message? Why is it different from the others? How intense is the life experience which brings something very new into the pieces? I once wrote about ARTICLE22, transforming bombs dropped in Laos into jewelry. That is an example of what I mean by stories… And the second story is the one of the buyer, especially, when the piece is custom-made. What moment, what feeling do I want to keep in this ring? What story of my life is carefully embodied and preserved in this necklace?
Writing this little article about Édéenne, a jeweler who is more famous in Paris, where she founded her La Maison Édéenne in 2003, than in her native Québec, I want to make you curious. To go to the exhibition, to search online. Just to find out about this beautiful woman and artist, about her story. Even the experience of walking through the exhibition in a complete darkness, with a flashlight, in search of the precious pieces, is something outstanding!
The event is not a tiny thing – there are 160 pieces presented. Many of them are from the private collections, the custom jewelry that made her name famous thanks to the artist’s nearly psychological preciseness of making the pieces of art out of the life events and experiences of her clients. Each piece tells a unique story, I strongly advise to be patient and wait for a guided tour which makes them shine in a new and sometimes unexpected way.
I spent an eternity wandering among her pieces of art. Such a concentration of beauty! And it is the case where the price is not just “as high as the price of the stones and gold”, the purity of lines and ideas just makes you uncontrollably smile. By the way, I was surprised to find out that what we are used to called the “white gold” in the North America, is called the “grey gold” in France. Never paid attention to that!
Briefly, just go!
Édéenne Fine Jewelry Exhibit – Wilder Building of Grands Ballets Canadiens
1435 rue de Bleury, Montreal
All photos are taken from the art book “Édéenne”.