David Bielander’s (Basel, b. 1968) jewellery and objects often mimic mundane things and animals using unexpected materials and techniques. The fine craftsmanship and exquisite details in his work are not an end in itself; the witty and sometimes arresting associations of form and material confront our assumptions of what we value as pretty, right, appropriate. His figurative jewellery is an invitation to communicate, combining an irresistible cheerful clarity and a serious concern with the duality between sensory perception and conceptual knowledge. Starting from an idea and reacting to the material world around him, Bielander’s work is a reminder that behind conventions there are endless possibilities of interference with the everyday.
“I aim to walk that fine line between making something simple enough that one unavoidably recognizes, that simultaneously requires a fair conscious effort to get beyond the obvious, and at the same time to be abstract enough that it allows a shift to happen, that the piece becomes something altogether new when it unpredictably connects with you.”
David Bielander was apprenticed to a goldsmith in his native Basel and worked for jeweller and industrial designer Georg Spreng in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, before studying for six years under Professor Otto Künzli at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. From 2006-10 he was Assistant to Professor Daniel Kruger, Academy of Fine Arts Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, Germany; since 2011 he has been an external consultant to the jewellery department, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. He has recently been recognised with prestigious prizes: the Munich Förderpreis in 2009; Herbert Hofmann Prize in 2010; the Françoise van den Bosch Prize in 2012; the Swiss Design Award in 2012; the Bayerischer Staatspreis in 2015; the Swiss Grand Award for Design in 2017. He lives and works in Munich and his work is shown in galleries and museums around the world, including a recent retrospective at the MUDAC in Lausanne (2017).