NGV Triennial

Naama Bergman
Salt brooch 08 and Salt necklace 11



In her 2016 series consisting of a brooch and three necklaces, Naama Bergman’s collection of salt jewellery is presented alongside a display of design projects that harness natural processes of emergence, growth, and decay to draw attention to the constant cycles of change that shape our lives. Inspired by her experiences relocating from Israel to Germany, Bergman began experimenting with materials and aesthetics of preservation to reflect the morphology of identity – particularly how identities are formed collectively and individually, and how migration and the passage of time can reshape the way people see themselves and others. To create each piece, Bergman delicately weaves strands of iron wire into a fine mesh which is formed over a mould to create voluminous, three-dimensional forms. The piece is then submerged in a concentrated salt solution which catalyses he process of simultaneous growth and decay that is central to her practice. As the salt crystallises along the surface of the mesh, the interaction of materials begins digesting the iron. When the piece is removed from the solution and exposed to air, the salt begins its own process of decay. In creating unstable jewellery pieces based on transient materiality, Bergman sets up a confrontation between preservation and decomposition, and questions the power, function, and mutability of medium and form.

Naama Bergman graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem in 2009. In 2013 she moved to Munich to pursue graduate studies in jewellery at the prestigious Academie der Bildenden Künste. Bergman is the recipient of several awards, including a 2015 and 2016 Study Scholarship for Foreign Graduates in the Fields of Fine Art, Film, and Design/Visual Communication and Film from DAAD, a German foundation, which supports emerging artists; a 2008 and 2009 scholarship for metal design from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation; and the Eithan Ron Prize for excellence in jewellery design. Bergman has been included in exhibitions worldwide including Israel, New York, the Netherlands, Tokyo, London, and Paris.