Eva Girbes

The excentric jewellery of Eva Girbes Retamero People are often talking about the dual function of some gems, being objects associated with a body or a person, sharing complicities between their creator and the one who wears it, but at the same time claiming their own autonomy, like independent signs, unveiling themselves in a plane surface or in a wall, as if they were little sculptures. These are the .extracorporeal., .aberrant. gems. Their centre is not limited to a body. Maybe Eva Girbes RetamerosÅL gems are part of those extracorporeal gems. Yes, they do have clips to use them as brooches or necklaces, but you could also think of them as a collection of tools, neatly arranged and ready for use, like in an artist’s workshop. Maybe it is not just by chance that due to Eva’s personal experience, being the daughter of artisans, book artisans, and having watched their dextrous and expert hands cutting, folding, sewing, gluing, embossing, and adorning, using the tools of a bookbinder, those tools she is familiar with are now part of her creative work, where they are converted into symbols.

Tools converted into objects of a personal mythology, which invite us to stop and think. Small tools, hand tools, like those a bookbinder uses, which talk to us about applying restrained forces, which are able to create anything desired, which are full of opportunities, which stimulate us to discover their use, or to invent or find out a new usage by means of that instrument’s poetry. The gem was used to boost the identity of its wearer. Maybe Eva’s gems are hand tools to re-arrange the fragmented identities of today’s humans. Hand made, made for hands, the hand is a part of it. I think this is the message of her gem-tools. Beyond the formal play between vacuum and matter, between positive and negative, Eva Girbes Retamero proposes us to celebrate the values which lie in touching,in the communication between the hand and the physical world, and in the hand’s invitation to elements.

Eva Girbes Retamero (Granada, 1984) graduated from Massana School in Barcelona. Afterwards she broadened her studies coursing the Advanced Vocational Training programme of Artistic Jewellery at Massana School from 2009 to 2012. In 2011, she was chosen to participate in a contemporary jewellery workshop in Aswan (Egypt), managed by Ramon Puig Cuyas. In 2012, she won the Marzee Annual International Graduation Show awarded with a contemporary jewelry workshop in Belgium, Ravari Atelier, organised by the Marzee Gallery, Holland in 2013.

She has also been awarded by the Bkv Preis (Bavarian Arts and Crafts Club) in 2013, in Munich. Furthermore, from 2008 to 2014 she took part in Joies Sensacionals, a contemporary jewellery group led by Silvia Walz. Currently she holds a scholarship from the LVR Industrial Museum in Germany, and she collaborates with .institut bild.medien. (Institute for Visual Media) of the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf.

“I work with an imaginary unity followed by intuition. Outsiders complete the meaning of my pieces by asking themselves what they are or what they could be. As a jeweller, I find human intelligence impressive. I admire the subtlety of connections and the link between shape and usage. That is what I search for in my work. Besides ornamenting the body, I would like to give the wearer an identity. I refl ect on the origin of tools. How a stone was seen as a useful object for the first time. This meant new possibilities for humans, helping them to adapt, transform and evolve. The magic atmosphere that surrounds tools and the variety of possibilities to use them is what I want to communicate with this work.

I am not making new tools or instruments; they are shapes which people unconsciously associate with these words. Tools, utensils and instruments are symbols of my work and projects. Change is intrinsically linked to these elements of my work, as well as the process, the evolution and the use of the newly created element. That is the force of creation, the most ancient project on Earth. It is a matter of reflecting on the relationship between humans and the elements which surround them.”