Nineteenth-century miniature portraits, animal figurines made from china, tiny children’s shoes and sprouting monkey bread trees all come together in the brooches of Italian artist Barbara Paganin (1961). From 23 May to 16 August, CODA Museum presents the exhibition Memoria Aperta, a collection of more than 25 unique yet interrelated jewels.
Paganin’s jewels are story-telling, portable tableaus that are reminiscent of rich, baroque palazzi in Venice but constructed from the objets trouvé Paganin found in antique shops and online. The aim is the opposite of impressing with opulence. Her brooches are poetry of the minuscule.
Story-telling Jewellery : Barbara Paganin’s eclecticism lies not only in the variety of objects used in her brooches, but also in her choice of materials. Besides precious metals like silver, gold and copper, she also uses glass, ceramics, china, amber, beeswax and plastic. With this wealth of material, the artist tells stories. Existing ones, like Grimm’s fairy tales or Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, to which she refers. But there are also the stories of the spectators, evoked by this extraordinary collection of brooches; the jewels challenge the spectator to open up spaces in the imagination and explore new worlds.
Barbara Paganin brooch
Barabara Paganin brooch