Ana Albuquerque
entrevista por Aaron Decker

Ana Albuquerque is a Portuguese jewelry artist. 
Graduating in 1994 with a degree in Fine Arts from the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, Portugal, Ana also studied jewelry at The Center of Arts and Visual Communication as well as the Contacto Directo School, Lisbon between 1987 to 1992.
Her practice since this time has been expansive and plural, not limiting herself to just jewelry but also sculpture. In 2003, Ana Albuquerque founded with Valentina Garcia, and Since 2007, She became Vice President of The Association of Portuguese Jewelry.
(PIN) Ana's work and her commitment to the expansion of knowledge and coverage of Portuguese Jewelry are some of the many reasons I chose get her input on the subject of Portuguese jewelry and the artists working in Portugal.


Aaron Decker: When did you start studying jewelry, Or if you started with another discipline, what was it and how did you start working in jewelry?

Ana Albuquerque: I have a degree in sculpture from the Lisbon School of Fine Arts, but jewelry was always my goal, because not being sculpture, they have some characteristics in common.

Jewelry has specific qualities that are of the utmost interest to me, like its privileged relationship to the body. The piece of jewelry has its own time of perception and fruition. By wearing it we are aware of its presence, a presence that dissolves into the unconscious, to be felt in one moment and forgotten the next. This subtle relationship fascinates me.

Its scale also evokes our human condition, and the possibility to relate to art on a daily basis, bringing into our lives and the lives of others a presence that is frequently unavailable. Our houses are the small space that each one of us occupies, and they are getting smaller all the time, jewelry gives us a macro view through a micro size.

I tend to identify with jewelry that involves the body in with a specific structure. I feel an intense relationship with tridimensional forms, so I prefer the arts that are related to space: architecture, installations, sculpture, dance and Jewelry.

Tangential movements, Ring, 800 gold, Edição: 10 peças, Fotografia: Gonçalo Villa Freitas

What are the main themes, topics or inspiration that drive your work?

Ana Albuquerque: My motto eluded me for a long time, but I think it’s linked to knowledge, to an inner learning process that translates into shapes that surprise me, as if the answers were in forms, such as worries or ideas. Things that I appraise as if they are my point of view. Therefore, when I find them, I feel relieved. There is also constant challenges in production, and also enjoying the work of other jewelers, that ultimately allow me to relate harmoniously with others, without Words. 


What are some of your inspirations?

Ana Albuquerque: My other work reveals my interest and concern with the properties of matter, such as the physical and chemical limits of the materials I use like tension, pressure, temperature, stretching, gold’s ductility allowing it to be stretched far beyond what we think possible. The physical evidence we leave on objects.

I’m also interested in movement and its relation to gravity and the body.

The sound jewelry can produce as we move, and the memory that those sounds, our sounds, evoke in others. The cognitive process that leads to the choice of materials and resulting shapes/forms is very mysterious, almost as if bringing news of our inner selves.

Concentric movements: sound, Anel, 800 ouro, Edição: 10 peças, Fotografia: Gonçalo Villa Freitas

Do you think your work has a Portuguese aesthetic, is there a Portuguese aesthetic?

Ana Albuquerque: I think that in this global world perhaps we can talk about an Occidental aesthetics but not one particular Portuguese aesthetic.


What do you feel about work being made now by the younger generation of jewelers?

Ana Albuquerque: The younger generation has been continuing this jewelry process, as in the arts in general.

Texture/materials #2, Pin, 800 ouro e madeira, Edição: 10 peças, Fotografia: Gonçalo Villa Freitas

Can you define contemporary jewelry?

 Ana Albuquerque: Mankind and Jewelry such as I understand it, share an intimate/profound relationship, although the way each person relates to an object may vary according to cultural and (dare I say it) genetic criteria. Our relationship with objects is very intriguing, in the same family there are some that really care with object and others who doesn’t have any particularly relationship with it.

 A piece of jewelry, will always be something that will be with you, and stimulate our senses in a special way, establishing intimate and subtle relations with others.

 In jewelry, it might be only the object per se, but usage however, contextualizes it symbiotically with its bearer. The beholder does not see the actual jewel but rather the relationship of the latter with the former. A jewel is, therefore, an object subject to choosing and to a possible, softened, juxtaposition unto a body.

 In jewelry, the beauty can be spread, not only in the object, but in the relation it has, with its owner. In addition, it unifies with the owner, who can fully experience this concept, but can even be enlarged if somebody else usufructs from this partnership, jewel/owner. It can have multiplies communications forms.


Texture/materials #1,  Pin, 800ouro e coral, Edição: 10 peças, Fotografia: Gonçalo Villa Freitas