The art market is quite protective of what is “art” and what is “not art”,
and the concept of wearable art has, in recent years, gained currency,
yet remains a topic of heated debate. Jewelry and precious stones are
most commonly thought of as a financial investment, but in the case of
wearable art — a jewelry piece with sculptural qualities — the artistic
merit of a piece versus the monetary value of its materials determines
its worth. For designer and sculptor Cécile zu Hohenlohe, the hand
is a public space, a garden, and a gallery on which one can place an
elegant sculpture. She grew up in the vast countryside of the
Hohenlohe region of Germany, and throughout her youth in
Langenburg Castle, its surrounding forests served as a refuge, inspiring
her love for the outdoors and great whimsy—often imagining the forest
alive with all sorts of fairies and magical creatures. She attended
Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, during
which time worked with designer Tom Dixon out of a studio in Notting
Hill, welding and building furniture while continuing to create art pieces
for her own satisfaction. After moving to New York City and beginning
a consultancy firm, Hohenlohe returned to Europe and established her
working studio in an attic tower of Langenburg, where her creative
practice unfolds. Central to her work are the wisdom, symbolism and
teachings of Buddhism; therefore she sees herself not as a creator, but
as one who attempts to express an order that already exists of which
she is part and represents in the world.
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