Birgit Thalau

By questioning the origins and validity of their artistic practice, artists have understood and shown that traditions and the world are constantly changing. There also exist examples from our material culture, where monuments or objects have been abolished or removed because people felt that they were no longer desired and appreciated. By the way we handle them, we may communicate the value of these objects to us, let them convey emotions which we are not always aware of or which we may not express directly.

All of my pieces from the series “embracing the echo” relate to jewelry I created earlier. The process of casting replica in one main material of them results in a drastic reduction, a loss of surface texture, details, and colour. Looking at those pieces, I feel that I let their initial meaning disappears and this reminds me of moments of my life which have been empty and disappointing. A silence has fallen over the objects, like an instant of hesitation between the authentic and the repeated object. I feel like I “buried” my anterior jewelry pieces under layers of material.

I seek to embrace the void and to fill the need for more depth. After going through a second or third casting, I may adapt, discard and transform the reproductions again. Unnoticed angles, empty and in-between spaces that exist outside of a clear-cut and immediate result are created.
Like this, my anterior works get covered over and over with further material, emotions and concepts. An alteration takes places that gives the works another appearance and value. Embodied as one in the solidified matter, past and present, negative and positive, presence and absence become part of my practice and the new sense.

1973: born, 26th march in Koblenz (D), currently living and working in Luxembourg

Education and Professional Experience (selection):
Oct. 2018 - Jan. 2021: Student (Master of Fine Arts diploma), gemstones and jewelry, (Vollmersbachstr 53a, D- 55743 Idar - Oberstein).
Since 2009: Teaching activity at secondary general education: drawing, art and craft technics,
(Lycée Technique de Bonnevoie, 119, rue du cimetière, L- 1338 Luxembourg).
2004–2005: Exchange at the Department of Jewellery and Metal Design (Estonian Academia of Arts, EST- 10145 Tallinn).
2002–2005: Student at the jewellery department (Gerrit Rietveld Academie, NL - 1076 ED Amsterdam).
2000–2001: Goldsmith’s assistant (Grewenig- Sauerborn, D-54290 Trier and L-1247 Luxembourg).
1996–2000: Apprenticeship goldsmith (DAP Diploma),
(Norbert Hebler, D- 54664 Hosten and Berufsschule für Gestaltung und Technik, D- 54290 Trier).
1995: Diploma secondary school, specialization: drawing, art and music history, other: languages and science,
(Lycée des Garçons, L -1750 Luxembourg).

Exhibitions (selection since 2017):
2022: “embracing the echo”, BJW jury award 2022, guest artist presentation, Galerie Beyond, Antwerp-BE
2017: “combined kind” part of “parcours bijou 2017”, Paris-F
2023: Galerie 2, Saarländisches Künstlerhaus, part of “SaarART 2023”, Saarbrücken, Germany
2022: “devotional jewellery”, exhibition organised by agc (associazione gioiello contemporaneo), Padova-I/ “Révélations, biennale internationale des métiers d’art et de la création”, Grand Palais, Paris-F/ “In Fieri” exhibition at MAD, Brussels Jewellery Week-BE
2021: “living the material”, fine contemporary craft biennale by the association “de Mains de Maîtres”- L / with “enter the exit”: “intergem” fair, Idar - Oberstein – D / “automat”, independent space for contemporary art and cultural projects, Saarbrucken -D / “Object Rotterdam”- NL / virtual exhibitions: “new talents” by klimt02, school members presenting their degree show, “hochschule trier”, bfa and mfa 2021“; digigem02” by campusidaroberstein, Instagram channel; online exhibition enter the exit, live-stream YouTube channel
2019: “intro_petits formats” at the “Galerie Konschthaus beim Engel” by the Ministry of Culture - L
2018: “gestures and wonders”, fine contemporary craft biennale by the association “de mains de maîtres”- L / “Symbiosis”, finalists of the art jewelry night 2018, Budapest - HUN
2017: “intro_fashion and jewellery” at the “Galerie Konschthaus beim Engel” by the Ministry of Culture - L

Awards and support (selection):
2022: Jury Award in the context of the exhibition “in fieri” at mad, home of creators, BJW, les brucelles, Belgium.
2021: Grant Neistart, supporting the relaunch of artistic production, Ministry of Culture, Luxembourg.
2020: Finacial aid for the creation of my MFA works by the association des Mains de Maîtres, Luxembourg.
2017: Mobility grant for the solo exhibition Combined kind, Parcours Bijoux, Ministry of Culture, Luxembourg.
2015: Financial support for the publishing of the booklet rich repair by the Ministry of Culture, Luxembourg.
2006: Design price by the Interregional crafts council (Luxembourg and Greater Region) for the set Blüte.