Powerful and influential representative of art jewelry in Netherlands, as well as beyond its borders, Ruudt Peters organizes workshops for artists interested in contemporary jewelry every summer. This year’s theme – SOUL NOW – brought together 11 artists in Ruudt’s studio, artists interested in discovering and exploring their creative power, approaching methods of self-connection and guidance through visual language.
Ruudt Peters SOUL NOW Workshop 2019
Curator and writer, Ruudt Peters continues his teaching with a private program held in his summer studio, in Ravenstein, Netherlands. The workshop is intended for students or graduates of art academies, and artists/designers/teachers who are looking for deepen their work. Every year, fine art creators and jewelry-makers participate to his workshop. And so did I, this year. Therefore, what is to be written here won’t be only a travel journal, but also a temporary guide among thoughts and feelings. About Soul and Soul Now.
Soul Time Now.
Soul Time. Now.
SOUL NOW Workshop 2019
The story begins with something I don’t usually do: voluntarily step outside my personal comfort zone. And I’m not talking about jewelry making challenges, which are always treasured. I’m talking about stepping over self-borders and jumping into whatever is going to be (without second thoughts). Subscribing to the idea of the unknown has meant traveling to a foreign country, speaking a not-enough-known language and living together with unknown people, heterogeneously forming a group for a week. A whole August week when beautiful Holland decided, in spite all gloomy forecasts, to offer us sunny, warm and no rainy or windy days. This was certainly Ruudt Peters’ assignment for those who decide on the weather in Ravenstein, I’m sure. Who else? He always knows how things should be or should be done.
The preparations for Ruudt Peters’ workshop “Soul Now” were meticulously carried out. Things to think of, things to do, things to gather and bring with, things to virtually send before. Color was set on white, materials were white, maybe thoughts too. Yet, I realized that I didn’t take the prior assignments seriously enough – maybe because of being used to think and act between set borders and under already established rules. When you say “mask” you think about something that covers your face but still reveals some of your facial features. But these are just criteria set by default. Now I know I should have looked further, thought less and felt more. In fact, this is my most precious discovery of the week with and about the Soul. Thus, it becomes necessary to find the most suitable methods of applying the imperative:
Don’t think too much! Do! Do! Do!
SOUL NOW Workshop 2019
Why Soul? Why Now? What is the Soul? What do we think about it? How do we feel it? Questions, questions … all raised before, during and after the workshop. Is there a huge, infinite Soul and everything is a piece with a well-established role in this endlessly puzzle? Or there is an infinite number of interconnected Souls? What happens to Soul without its physical body? Do animals have Soul? Or objects? Where is the Soul coming from? Thoughts about past, ancestors, heritage and belonging came up. About our elders and what we all owe to them. Words which remained unspoken have been transposed into reality and sent to them by fire and air during a white and purifying ceremony. Our silent and innocent witnesses have been the earth, the grass and the river.
Nature, elements, inner self, introspection, meditation. Connections have been revealed, memories unveiled and the present moment turned into past. Things known once breaking out from oblivion. Living close to nature even for a short time restores flows on normal paths. Riding the bike between the farmhouse and Ruudt’s summer studio may bring the most desired peace of mind, but also the unexpected. Such as field rabbit ears, barely visible from wide and gleaming grain fields. Or maybe shy black ducks on greeny waters. Or pear trees looking like vines. Or even a tiny stone placed exactly on bike’s way and direction, changing it. It’s all very close to what I’ve imagined about the initiatory paths of tale characters, with gradual evolution.
SOUL NOW Cina Albă 2019
In this context, so close to nature, with such an intimate theme, human interaction is a constant, a positive but very challenging one. Food plays an important role and meal times are considered to be special occasions for initiating and developing communication and connections inside the community, a temporary one in our case. Giving it the proper importance, dinner becomes a feast anywhere, even on the roadside. And so was our white dinner, with white food, white table and chairs, white paper flowers and sticky white balloons ready to take off. With the inseparable and white 4 – our teachers and guides – Ruudt, Koen, Paula and Leo. And with them, the white-white 10 and me, a magic and white 11. With white nails here and there. And Ruudt’s white black eyeglasses, the sunset and, somewhere, a white hidden swan. An evening to remember.
Full days, peaceful nights, searching for the Soul, finding the Soul, feeling it everywhere. Even in synthetic fillers like wadding. More than ever, I have realized that hidden treasures are not easy to be discovered and unveiled. Perseverance, determination, curiosity, trust and an open mind can bring you closer to your wish. It’s an ongoing process which now has gained new meanings. And it still will, on and on.
article by Cleopatra Coșuleț
Ruudt Peters is a contemporary Dutch artist, his main work being conceptual jewelry. He has taught at prestigious European universities (Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, the Konstfack University of Arts and Crafts in Stockholm, Alchemy – the contemporary jewelry school in Florence), and is currently a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the MASieraad Foundation, the initiator of the MA Challenging Jewelery program, held at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. For more information, visit http://www.ruudtpeters.nl