Suska Mackert is trained as a goldsmith at the Staatliche Berufsfachschule für Glas und Schmuck in Neugablonz/DE and studied within the jewelry department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, NL.
She now works as professional artist, professor and traveling lecturer.
In 2010 she was named the head of the jewelry department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam/NL.
She has maintained a diverse list of activities—including being active on boards and juries for major awards, regular museum and gallery showings, and publications since she completed her Masters studies at the Sandberg Instituut in 2000.
She lives and works in Hamburg and Amsterdam.
As an artist, her work revolves around various considerations and investigations of jewelry. For the most part, her work consists of the artistic transposition and application of these thoughts and reflections.
About Suska’s practice
The focus of Suska Mackert’s work as an artist are various considerations and investigations concerning jewellery. Her work consists, for the most part, in the artistic transposition and application of these thoughts and reflections.
Since 1997 she has only rarely made “real”, wearable pieces of jewellery. She has become more and more interested in jewellery as a phenomenon and in the role it plays in our lives. In her search for the significance of jewellery she is trying to explore its boundaries. It seems impossible to her to experience jewellery as an isolated self-contained terrain. She regards jewellery as an indicator of fundamental mechanisms of a social and psychological kind. One could say: She is seeking out the breadth of jewellery in more than one sense.
The media she uses are photography, video, installation, text and printing matter. Her work is characterised by exploration and investigation rather than by functionality. For the final form of her works functionality is irrelevant.
In Suska Mackert’s work, the traditional view of what a piece of jewellery is and how it functions is not disregarded, but not entirely confirmed either. Rather, the complex of traditions surrounding jewellery is used as a starting point, a point of departure. The objects, the documentations and the installations she makes describe a movement – a movement away from the obsession with the singular object and towards a reflection on the cultural context of jewellery as a whole. In particular, she turns her gaze to the unrecognised and sometimes even secrets ways in which jewellery and ornamentation appear in official ceremonies and social events.
Personal amulets and souvenirs are other facets of jewellery that she investigates. In her work, jewellery is never a goal in itself. It is used as a way of understanding and navigating through the world we share.