Hnoss Initiative is a non profit, artist run, organisation engaged in promoting international art jewellery in Sweden. Starting as Hnoss Gallery in 1997 it was through exhibitions introducing work by many of the best jewellery artists of our time. In autumn 2011, in spite of many brilliant exhibitions, the gallery space was closed. From now on, working under the name Hnoss Initiative, the activities change into more curatorial and seminar/workshop based projects and commissions.
THE STORY OF HNOSS
Hnoss – a gallery for international contemporary jewellery 1997 to 2011.
In October 1997, the first exhibition opened at Hnoss Gallery with Ingjerd Hanevold , who had become the first professor of jewellery in Gothenburg. Opening ceremony and celebration took place in the Blue House at Konstepidemin which was adjacent to the gallery.
The 90’s was an exciting time for the art of jewellery in Sweden. The influences of “ New Jewellery ” movement that started in the 70’s with centres in London, Amsterdam and Munich also had impact in Sweden . At the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg, the Department of Metal Art was refocused for Art Jewellery, and at the same time the artists had more opportunities to display their jewellery in museums and galleries around the world. Art jewellery had already been moving internationally and now even more of the Swedish artists were participating on those scenes. In Gothenburg exhibitions were arranged that toured between galleries in Europe and the U.S. and individual artists were invited to attend international jewellery exhibitions.
Although very few exhibitions with international artists were shown in Gothenburg at this time. In Sweden a good forum for the international art jewellery was missing. So in the mid 90’s some jewellery artists decided to open a gallery, to show and educate a new audience about what was happening in this specific art field over the world. It was important to give the art of jewellery its very own venue where the exhibitions were not competing with other activities.
In 1997 Hnoss – International gallery for contemporary jewellery was opened. The name Hnoss comes from the Nordic mythology and was the name of the goddess Freya’s daughter. Hnoss means jewel.
The working group that ran the gallery consisted of jewellery artists from Gothenburg, some with connection to the education of jewellery at the School of Design and Crafts (HDK) at Gothenburg University and some to Röhsska Museum, which made it possible for the collaboration that became a part of the extensive program activity. It enabled the gallery to attract the most interesting artists on the jewellery scene, mainly from Europe but also from other continents. The gallery was the only one in Scandinavia that was concentrated at the field of art jewellery. With its exhibitions and programs of high artistic quality, Hnoss constituted an important forum for the professional jewellery artists, students and audiences.
Shared experiences and deeper insights into the artistry have become possible through the seminars, workshops and other exhibition projects that have played an important part in Hnoss activities.
Many of the program activities were done in collaboration with HDK, as lectures and seminars that turned to both students and professional jewellery artists, and the gallery also had continuous contact with Röhsska Museum. Not only through the purchase of jewellery for the museum collections, but also by collaboration with program activities in conjunction with the Nordic Jewellery Triennals and other manifestations. When Hnoss Gallery celebrated its 10 years anniversary in 2007, a magnificent exhibition was shown at Röhsska Museum, where 74 of Hnoss previous exhibitors participated.
The exhibition activities organized outside the gallery space was named Hnoss Extended and could be just temporary exhibitions of students and professionals. Above this, Hnoss Extended also curated a number of touring exhibitions with local jewellery artists showing in various places in the region.
Hnoss Gallery in Gothenburg was for many years a leading part in the jewellery field. It became a place for new connections and collaborations.
For the last show in the venue at Konstepidemin, Hnoss Gallery invited all jewellery artists who been exhibiting over the years into The Ring – jewel for ever, an exhibition with over 100 rings. This show was also presented at the Design Museum in Tallinn.
During the fourteen years that the gallery lasted, 118 solo exhibitions were shown with artists from four continents and twenty countries.
Hnoss Gallery was supported continuously by the Arts Council and the City of Gothenburg.
Hnoss Initiative 2011 and forward
After the gallery closed, the group is continuing the work under the name Hnoss Initiative. Exhibitions have been curated in collaboration with institutions such as the Gustavsberg Konsthall, Röhsska Museum and Konstepidemin Gallery. Lectures and workshops have been organized together with HDK and IASPIS (International Artist Studio Program in Sweden).
Hnoss Initiative is working towards the same aim as before – to be a forum to display and increase knowledge of international contemporary jewellery and be a meeting place for the artists, the students and the audiences.