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Thank You, Simone

On Attention and Jewelry

 

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity” has always been one of my favorite quotes. Lately it made me meditate on the topic of attention in the context of jewelry. I found out that the author of these words, the French philosopher, mystic, and activist Simone Weil (1909–1943), saw attention as a way to deal with human suffering. This photo essay is framed as a letter to Simone Weil, whose words I love and hopelessly misinterpreted.

 

Author

  • Art historian Saskia van Es (Amsterdam, 1972) writes about contemporary jewelry for Dutch and international platforms such as Klimt02 and AJF. She recently started teaching at Sint Lucas Antwerp, in Belgium. During her time on the board of the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation, she discovered that there were many more facets to jewelry than she had thought. A theme she keeps returning to is jewelry materials: gold, pearls, gems, animal materials, plastics, and other man-made stuff. Rich, often mythical stories are told about each, but the sourcing of these materials can be harmful. This fascinating tension is also part of a piece of jewelry.

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