If you haven't been to Bucharest... GO!
If you like eclectic architecture, coffee and Eastern Europe, Bucharest should be on your list of places to go! I have been totally won over by this city and my experience there so I am going to share with you my 4 days in Bucharest and the my time at Autor, an art Jewellery fair.
I had one day to explore before spending 2 days selling my jewellery at Autor, so had pinpointed some places to visit. I love wandering round new cities and finding hidden gems which mainly comes in the form of the architecture for me and this place didn't disappoint. It is a heady mix of historical (neo-classical), interbellum (Bauhaus and art deco), communist-era and modern all mixed in together.
I was staying in an Airbnb apartment in the old part of the city - a block away from the Autor venue so it was a perfect for exploring. I headed for the old part of town through a beautiful park with a boating pond and rose gardens, had lunch in a trendy bookshop and headed to the 'People's Palace' (which frankly is the biggest building I have ever seen) and finished the day eating ice-cream in the sunshine.
Also, something that was lovely to discover, as walking around, were the small churches dotted around the city - there is no large cathedral in the city as such, there are beautiful ornate small churches in between two concrete blocks or hidden in the back streets of the old town. Below is one I found built in 1724.
A beautiful ornate painted ceiling in a monastery.
On with the show...
Autor is a selling art jewellery fair showcasing jewellers from around the world. Makers as far as South America to China were exhibiting at this event which made it one of the most diverse events I have ever taken part in. It is in it's 16th edition and has a strong following in Bucharest. Held in the beautiful surroundings of the Grand Hotel du Boulevard it was the perfect environment to see unique pieces of jewellery.
To my right was a French designer based in Belgium and to my left a Bulgarian maker. Interacting with the other makers, chatting about our work and being able to make new friends within the international community was one of my favourite parts of the show. The organiser Dan Piersinaru and his team did such an amazing job of organising, promoting and documenting the show and I really felt apart of something well respected within Romania and across the world. Also, being shown the best local hang-outs was also a highlight!
If you would like to see the diversity of makers involved in Autor see their facebook page where there were lots of photos taken from the show https://www.facebook.com/AUTOR.jewelry/
The last day was spent at a conference/brunch organised by Autor with the title 'Alternative spaces for exhibiting jewellery' featuring galleries from Lille, Rome and Belgium. It was a fascinating insight into the European approach to exhibiting contemporary jewellery and what is available for makers. It was also a time to reflect with makers, exchange contact details and plan future trips to places across the world.
I came home inspired, exhilarated and ready to try some new things within my practice! I really enjoyed getting a 'European' perspective on my work and would definitely do the show again!