When I see presence
I feel absence
When I search absence
I experience presence

The tension between absence and presence is an important theme in my work.

A significant part of my work takes the form of contemporary jewellery. From an early age I have been fascinated by jewellery when it was not worn but hidden away in beautiful jewel boxes and shown to me by women in my life who were important to me. I could sense their deep attachment for these jewellery pieces, which were loaded with memories of loved ones and special moments in life, yet hardly ever physically connected to the body. They created a magical tension between absence and presence. In my work I try to capture this tension through choice of discipline, shape and material.

In general I put elements in my work that resemble images, shapes, materials, feelings that people are familiar with or have experienced before. This creates an instant connection through presence. On closer observation however things are not what they seem, in their concrete presence they confront us with an absence. I want people to feel this mixed emotion, confusion, discomfort before embracing a new presence.

Influenced by my experiences as a child, I’ve been investigating all sorts of materials to capture this special tension of the hidden aspect of beautiful objects. At the moment I work with golden chips (and plastic) from used credit cards, materials that capture my emotion very closely and that I want to explore further. The golden chips were once the visual part of an invisible world of communication, identity, information and money. Their function connected us to other people. At the same time we kept these symbols of communication hidden, close to our bodies, creating a form of intimacy. By transforming the used chips that were once charged with all this information, I try to reload them. Now that they have become pieces of jewellery they will be charged with new meaning by the wearer, again invisible for the viewer, shaping a new intimate context.

Looking at my work you’ll find echoes of old traditions. There is usually some presence of the past, joined with present-day materials in an embracement for the future.


Hester Popma- van de Kolk / visual artist / 1971 / Leusden-NL



ZomerExpo/Summerexhibition EUROPA

Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle/NL


Gioielli in Fermento
Oratorio San Rocco, Padua/Italy


Exhibition in Print “Repair and Renewal: Making Things Whole Again”
Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh USA
Gioielli in Fermento 2017- Master Collection
Torre Fornello Vineyard, Fornello di Ziano Piacentino/ Italy
Narrative Jewelry- Mark Fenn/ Schiffer books
SNAG and Metalsmith magazine -Exhibition in Print “Repair and Renewal: Making Things Whole Again”2017




TRIPLE PARADE × 3 2016: Dialogue across You and Me to Them: Creator, Wearer, Viewer

SHENGXI Art Museum Tianjin/China

GAUGUIN Gallery, Beijing/China

METALLOphone: BONDS  The 3rd International Biennial of Contemporary Metal Art

(AV17) gallery, Vilnius/ Lithuania

Lithuanian Artists Association gallery, Vilnius/ Lithuania

6a Muestra Anuario de Joyería Contemporánea

Madrid JOYA, Spain

ESPAIJOIA, Barcelona/ Spain


Arte y Joya summer/autumn #201– Grupo Duplex

Contemporary Jewellery Yearbook 2016/2017 – Grupo Duplex

ausgezeichnet! most excellent! Jewellery  Art for Heroes– Arnoldsche Art Publishers



VI Premio Internacional Arte y Joya, Barcelona/ Spain

Premio Gioielli in Fermento 2015 – menzione speciale KLIMT02, Ziano Piacentino/ Italy


Beijing International Contemporary Metal & Jewelry Art Exhibition 2015 (BIC·MAJA 2015)

The China Millennium Monument World Art Museum, Beijing/China

Ausgezeichnet! Most excellent! 

Wasserschloß Klaffenbach, Chemnitz/ Germany

5a Muestra Anuario de Joyería Contemporánea 

Madrid JOYA, Spain

ESPAIJOIA, Barcelona/ Spain

Gioielli in fermento V edizione

Torre Fornello Vineyard, Fornello di Ziano Piacentino/ Italy

‘The Parallel Worlds’

Gallery ALLIAGES, Lille/ France


Contemporary Jewellery Yearbook 2015/2016– Grupo Duplex

Catalogue Gioielli in Fermento 2015



World Crafts Council AISBL, Beijing/China


Bronze Prize World Crafts Council AISBL, International Contemporary Craft Competition, Nantong/ China

Nominee MineralART ‘Between layers- words within agate’ , International Design Contest, Idar-Oberstein/ Germany

Nominee Gioielli in fermento ‘ wearing the colours of wine’, International Torre Fornello Award, Ziano Piacentino/ Italy

Nominee Zomerexpo/ Summerexhibition ‘Licht’ , The Hague/NL


NICB ‘Past, Today and Future of Arts and Crafts’

Nantong International Contemporary Craft Biennale, Nantong/ China

MineralART ‘Between layers-world within agate’

State Collections of Antiquities, Munich/ Germany

Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum, Idar-Oberstein/ Germany

Gioielli in fermento ‘ wearing the colours of wine’

Torre Fornello Vineyard, Fornello di Ziano Piacentino, Italy

Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna, Dozza’s Rocca Sforzesca, Italy

Rivellino Art Gallery, Locarno/ Switserland

OFF JOYA, Boffi showroom, Barcelona/ Spain

ZomerExpo/Summerexhibition LICHT

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague/NL

The shape of dreams, Beautiful people Live Art, virtual exhibition


1000 Beads – Lark Books

Catalogue Gioielli In Fermento 2014

Catalogue Zomerexpo Licht- ArtWorlds



Kunstbeeld #3

Edelmetaal #1



Winner New Traditional Jewellery ‘ NEW NOMADS’  International Design Contest, Amsterdam/ Netherlands

Nominee Zomerexpo/Summerexhibition ‘ Liefde’, The Hague/NL


New Traditional Jewellery-NEW NOMADS 

SIERAADArtFair Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam/NL

Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem / NL

Zomerexpo/Summerexhibition LIEFDE

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague/NL


Goldschmiede Zeitung #9

Catalogue Zomerexpo Liefde- WBooks



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Hester Popma- van de Kolk

  • Phone: +31 6 40109275
  • Email: hester@ikfabriek.nl