A delicate gold ring with a huge “gem” made from a rock.
Heavy Metal is a delicate gold ring with a huge “gem” made from a rock. The rock is carved by a stone cutter, while Katrine Borup does the soldering, hammers the ring into shape, and polishes it. Katrine Borup had the inspiration for the piece when she was researching gold production in preparation for the Biennale for Craft and Design in 2009 and discovered what a big chunk of mountain had to be removed and crushed to produce an ounce of gold. Katrine Borup believes that many of our environmental problems today occur because stuff is produced so far away that we actually do not know what the manufacturing process entails. Besides, she questions the modern perception of nature – where we believe we have the right to command and dominate nature. “Perhaps, nature ought to have rights too, similar to human rights?” she asks.
Katrine Borup has received grants from both the Danish Arts Foundation and the Danmarks Nationalbank’s Anniversary Foundation. In 2002 she received the Hetsch Medal, and in 2009 she received the Biennale Prize for her “power-flower”. In 2010 she had a solo exhibition at Officinet, Danish Arts and Crafts Association called “HVOR ER DET BARE TYPISK DIG” (That is so typical of you).
Katrine Borup works in all sorts of materials, from precious metals to candle wax, finger nails, human hair, ladles, soap shavings, X-ray images, adhesive plasters, paper and photos. “I tell stories on the body and pick the materials that match the stories,” she says. Her work always has a thematic point of departure – something that she finds puzzling, or feels like exploring. The process almost always begins with book studies; for example a study of the cultural history of death or menstruation as a psychological/physiological phenomenon. Her body objects are conceptually based but also sensuous and aesthetic, and Katrine Borup enjoys the dialogue with the material, which never behaves as expected but instead offers resistance. The applied techniques are rarely sophisticated but virtually always painstaking.
Katrine Borup, born 1965. Architect and jewellery designer, graduated from the Aarhus School of Architecture in 1995 and the Danish College of Jewellery and Silversmithing in 2001.