Neke Moa, Kuini (2020), pendant, paint plastic beads | Photo credit: Neke Moa
Neke Moa, Kuini (2020), pendant, paint plastic beads | Photo credit: Neke Moa
Nanna Melland; Ring of Ignorance. 2019 | Photo credits: Morten Brun
Nanna Melland; Ring of Ignorance. 2019 |  Photo credits: Morten Brun
Illustration by Elena Höpfner (2019)
Illustration by Elena Höpfner (2019)
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The Zadan Project

“Super Charged—Hopes and Protections on the Body”, is an exhibition of work by BA and MA students at Jewellery Art (HDK-Valand Academy of Art & Design) who have investigated the hopes, desires, and fears that prompt us to create amulets and talismans as adornments and objects today. In some pieces, wearers are instructed by the jewellery pieces to fulfil tasks to encourage magic. Which materials have been chosen to protect whom, from what, how, and what promises do we (makers and wearers) make? Many different directions have been taken, but collectively these artworks are “super charged”.


The instinct to cover our bodies with strong magical things is one small reaction to the many uncontrollable events that impact everyday life. Amulets and talismans are believed – by some – to carry magical powers. Their materials and purposes can be as varied as the powers: Pomanders, Omamoris, dolls to protect from demons of fever, a piece of red wool, a blue eyed-glass bead, facial masks, leather pendants that contain herbs. These magical items have little scientific validity to ensure concrete prophylactic or apotropaic effects. Instead, they carry fabricated narratives and can trigger in us a sense of wonder. Concretely, these items signal some of the real challenges and fears individuals face.

About Zadan

“Super Charged—Hopes and Protections on the Body” developed from ZADAN educational project hosted by Jewellery Art at HDK-Valand. The title ‘ZADAN’(座談) references the Japanese concept of a conversation among peers. The aim of ZADAN is to create a common platform where we broaden our shared understanding of jewellery art across BA and MA programs and the broader community.

This project was spontaneously called into life among faculty members in March 2020, when Covid-19 unexpectedly stopped our access to the workshop. While home-bound with limited communication over ZOOM, we wanted to find ways to strengthen our Jewellery Art community. In the first year, (Winter 2020 – Summer 2020) international jewellery artists joined our meetings to give online artist talks. In the second year, (Winter 2021 – Summer 2021) with funding through Göteborgs Slöjdförening under the title “Wearers’ Perspective”, we invited seven lectures by jewellery artists and craft art historians. In the third series, “Hopes and Protections on the Body” (Winter 2022 – Summer 2022), we hosted six online lectures to investigate magical dimensions of jewellery from an artist, curator, sociologist, archeologist, and anthropologist. The results of our discussions and engagements with the subject will be viewed in the exhibition “Super Charged—Hopes and Protections on the Body”.