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Johanna Zellmer

Studio grant holder in Göteborg 1 March – 31 May 2019

Johanna Zellmer. Year and city of birth: *1968, Friedberg/Hessen. Lives and works in: Dunedin, New Zealand.

I consider contemporary jewellery to be able to function as an analytical tool or instrument of identity politics, with the possibility for it to be used as a medium of socio-political knowledge. My research projects are frequently discussed by Indian Munich-based philosopher and cultural theorist Pravu Mazumdar, who examines the nature of art jewellery in relation to contemporary culture.


During the Iaspis Residence I would like to learn more about role Sweden plays in the current migration situation within the wider European Union. The Swedish website https://sweden.se/migration/ states “Sweden has a long history of migration. The recent immigration peak has posed a challenge to the country, but beyond the headlines are personal stories and a complex reality.”

The information already collated on this site will provide a research starting point for my residency. I will build on my most recent body of work ‘fused’, which considers for the common passport to become replaced by the use of genetic information. I am going to continue working with coins, lanyards and genetic flow cells as core materials and am looking to possibly involve the wider immigrant community through an open call for participation in an art project; as well as the regional art scene through workshops or masterclasses. I would love to show the outcome of the work produced during the residency in Gothenburg.

Johanna Zellmer completed a formal apprenticeship as a goldsmith in Germany and a Master’s degree at the Australian National University Canberra School of Art. She coordinates the Jewellery & Metalsmithing Studio and the Artist-in-Residence Programme at the Dunedin School of Art, New Zealand. Johanna co-founded CLINKProjects with Shane Hartdegen in 2014, a collaborative engagement in experimental and traditional making, writing and exhibition practice in the field of contemporary jewellery.