A global archive of independent reviews of everything happening from the beginning of the millennium

Read our Copyright Notice click here

For publication dates click here

Antwerp central station is adjacent to the diamond district

DIVA's exhibition of student work in the temporary venue was the most interesting aspect of the visit but photography was problematic because of reflections of the overhead lighting.

The same work from two angles illustrates the problems. A pop up of this quality can be excused but otherwise exhibitors the world over underestimate the difficulties of mobile phones taking colour accurate photographs. Visitors have no control over lighting.

As photographs disseminated on the internet are one the very best means of publicity for exhibitions, exhibitors that wish to permit photographs - and we would argue that most should - need to be conscious of more than the level of illumination.

The sunflowers of Antwerp

Tech Too Grey

KMSKA - The Art

Grasse Interlude



Like many of the public spaces in Flanders, Grote Markt in Antwerp is an interesting space in itself. It is dominated on one side by the Town Hall for which Mayor Nicholaas Rockox laid the foundation stone in 1561. It is modelled on an Italian palazzo in Flemish Renaissance style and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As it was Antwerp Jewellery Week a quick visit to the pop up exhibition of DIVA, the Diamond Museum, which is closed till 9 December 2022 for remodelling, was called for.

As it happened the Town Hall has also been undergoing a restoration project a little on the scale of KMSKA further south in the city, lasting from 2018 to 2022, so a diversion inside to see a little of the ground floor and the scale model was also called for.

A view out of the Town Hall through beautifully restored doors towards the cathedral

All the colours - flags of nations

The shape of the rustication and the colours and quality of the finishes are visually enticing

The DIVA pop up exhibition gives a quick run down on the diamond trade, an area on silver and an exhibition of students' work, some of which is covered below.

Charlotte van de Velde, Re-collecting Jewellery

Re-collecting Jewellery gives new life to sometimes forgotten and neglected jewellery in a new creative context.

Tieke Scheerlinck, Precious people

This is important. The press moves on. She makes us think. Art itself makes us think more than those who seek to 'deface' art for attention. Its message is clearer and accesses more emotions.

Precious people is clearer than orange liquid thrown over Sunflowers' glass. That protest's relation to sunflowers is negligible. The orange liquid may not have been tomato soup as claimed. Then there is the contemporary fallacy that attention is everything. Once attention is gained - the idea seeded - it is often better to get out of the way so that the idea has a life of its own.

Paris, July 2020

Only the defacing of sculpture, and that in a way that usually does not permanently damage it, can have more impact than art itself. That is perhaps because representational sculpture is meant to embody a particular permanent view of the world.

The re-contexting of sculpture does appear to be able to contribute to culture.

Defacing can be art in itself, as in street art, but that involves artists.

As for the paint on the Paris sculpture above, one doubts it got much attention but the idea is seeded, and if we have understood it correctly, makes a more relevant emotional impact than the orange liquid.

Were one to be shamed into not eating lamb at all or not using oil at all - both plausible - which protest, per view, is more effective and not needing the mediation of an explanation, or worse, a justification?

If you subcontract explanation to a public relations agency then the obligatory question one must ask of it - as you must of anything coming out of such an agency for this is the contemporary world - where is the lie?

Let us return to the students' jewellery in a city that understands the power of art.

The spillonto (to coin a word) of jewellery over fashion (not thrown over) but craft or art (jewellery is which .... or both?) makes its point

Bijoux, made of any material, can be art and disruptive