Knock them down with a feather
A ‘helmet’ and a ‘sleeve’, constructed in layers and stabilized with clamps in a time-consuming but fairly simple technique. Small bits of wire are added to the exterior of the helmet to produce a bristling appearance. Viewed from inside, by the wearer, the helmet’s interior frame becomes fully visible.
The objects have contrasting references to birds and medieval chain-mail armour. The expression is deliberately ambiguous, simultaneously soft/inviting and hard/aggressive. The exterior has a metallic and prickly look, although the delicate wire is in fact soft to the touch with a light and feathery feel.
Drawing on some of the formal characteristics of the site, the circle and the repetition echo the cloister’s pavement and the arcade. On a narrative level, the work is inspired by the legend of the three martyrs Sisinio, Martirio and Alessandro, whose remains are interred in the church. According to legend, the martyrs rose from their graves in the form of doves to help the forces of the Lombardic League defeat Emperor Barbarossa at the Battle of Legnano in 1176. The doves flew from San Simpliciano to the battlefield, where they perched on the cross on the war altar throughout the battle. The story provides a narrative framework for the sculpture’s contrast between hard and soft … war and doves … armour and feathers …
DIY jewellery wire, crimps
Helmet: H 33 x ø 24 cm
Sleeve: approx. H 65 x Ø 40–45 cm
Jewellery artist, b. 1965
Katrine Borup takes an analytical approach to her work and combines form, materials, techniques and the positioning of the jewellery on the body to form a coherent expression. She views jewellery as site-specific art, specifically as art on the human body, where the relationship with the body is crucial. She describes her works as meta-jewellery: jewellery that debates its own role as jewellery and plays with conventions and genres.
In a classic crafts approach, she explores and utilize the properties and inclinations of materials but also seeks to bring out their inherent narratives and meanings. This combined craft-based and narrative angle drives her interest in the sorts of materials everyone can relate to, but which are unconventional in the field of jewellery, such as balloons, soap, pencil lead, stearin, hair and fingernail clippings.
Education and practice
2003–15: Studies in art history and philosophy, University of Copenhagen
2001: Graduation from the Institute for Precious Metals, Copenhagen
1995: Graduation from the Aarhus School of Architecture
Selected collaborations and projects
Works bought by the Danish Arts Foundation, Designmuseum Danmark, Museet på Koldinghus and Kunstforeningen af 14. August
2016–18: Curator for the exhibition series ‘TIL STEDEt’ in Bagsværd Church
2014: Local curator for ‘Magic Language/Game of Whispers’, Nordic Network of Crafts Associations, Grand Palais, Paris
Selected grants and honours
2015: Danish Arts Foundation, three-year working grant
2010: Danish Arts Foundation, working grant
2012: Danmarks Nationalbank’s Anniversary Foundation of 1968, grant
2010: Danish Arts Foundation, award for the solo exhibition THAT IS SO TYPICAL OF YOU
2009: Biennale Prize
2017–18: ‘BRING IT ON’, Art Jewellery Copenhagen, House of Denmark, Paris (part of Parcours Bijoux 2017)
2017: Biennale for Craft and Design, Museumsbygningen, Copenhagen
2016: Danish Design Now, permanent exhibition, Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen
2014: ‘MINDCRAFT 14’, Milan
2013: ‘BODYPARTy’, solo exhibition, Galleri Goldfingers, Copenhagen