birgit thalau graduated from secondary school in 1995 in the artistic department (luxembourg) and then learned goldsmithing (apprenticeship) in trier, germany, where she then worked as a goldsmith assistant until 2001. continuing her specialisation in the netherlands (gerrit rietveld academie, amsterdam) and estonia (estonian academia of arts, tallinn), she also took further training and master classes in order to develop her personal approach. since 2009, she has been living in luxembourg, where she continued her artistic practice and has been teaching art and craft technics at the general-education secondary school in bonnevoie. in 2018, she decided to enrol again in an education specialised in the field of contemporary art jewellery (university of applied sciences, idar- oberstein), where she graduated in january 2021 (“master of fine arts”).
- 2017 / “traditional japanese techniques” with jewellery artist kimiaki kageyama, eishäuschen, braunwald, switzerland
- 2010 / “authenticity in the age of style surfing” with jewellery artists helen britton and david bielander, alchimia, contemporary jewellery school, florence, italy
- 2003 / “taboo” (during koru1) with jewellery artist karen pontoppidan at the south carelia polytechnic, lappeenranta, finland
- 2001 / “diary” with jewellery artist otto künzli, la corte, sambruson di dolo, italy
awards and support
- 2021: nominee “newcomer 2022”, foundation of the german design council, frankfurt, germany.
- 2021: grant “neistart- résidence d’artiste à domicile” (encouraging the resumption of the national artistic activity), the ministry of culture, luxembourg.
- 2020: subsidy for creating the works, part of my thesis “master of fine arts” by the association “de mains de maîtres”, luxembourg.
- 2017: mobility grant, ministry of culture, luxembourg for the solo exhibition “combined kind”, part of the “parcours bijoux 2017”, paris, france.
- 2015: financial support for the publishing of the booklet “rich repair” by the ministry of culture, luxembourg.
- 2014: “confrontations”, nominee, contest by new and traditional jewellery, the netherlands.
- 2006: design price by the interregional crafts council (luxembourg and greater region) for the set “blüte” (ring, pin and wallet).
selection of group exhibitions
- 2022 / “révélations, biennale internationale des métiers d’art et de la création”, grand palais, paris, france
- 2021 / “viv(r)e la matière”, fine contemporary craft biennale by the association “de mains de maîtres”, luxembourg
- 2021: virtual exhibition: “digigem02” by campusidaroberstein, instagram channel
- 2021 / “enter the exit”, end exam group of the “trier university of applied sciences, campus for design and art, dept. of gemstones and jewellery: “intergem” fair, idar- oberstein, germany/ “automat”, independent space for contemporary art and cultural projects, saarbrücken, germany/ “object rotterdam”, the netherlands/ online exhibition, live-stream youtube channel
- 2019 / “intro_petits formats” at the “galerie konschthaus beim engel” by the ministry of culture, luxembourg
- 2018 / “gestures and wonders”, fine contemporary craft biennale by the association “de mains de maîtres”, luxembourg
- 2018 / “symbiosis”, finalists of the art jewelry night 2018, budapest, hungary
- 2017 / “intro_fashion and jewellery” at the “galerie konschthaus beim engel” by the ministry of culture, luxembourg
- 2016 / invited artist for the dkollektiv project “atelier d”, during the festival of industrial culture and innovation of the “fondation bassin minier” site du laminoir, dudelange, luxembourg
- 2015- 16 / “koru 5, international contemporary jewellery“, imatra art museum, vaasa art hall and kuopio art museum, finland
- 2014- 15 / “confrontations”, exhibition of the nominees of the jewellery contest, amsterdam sieraad fair and arnhem museum, the netherlands
- 2010 / “rekult 03”, former “quincaillerie buchholtz-ettinger”, esch-sur-alzette, luxembourg
- 2009 / “art’lënster”, art biennale, commune of junglinster, luxembourg
- 2009 / “rekult 02”, former building of the “mouvement écologique”, pfaffenthal, luxembourg
- 2008 / “horror vacui”, jewellery gallery friends of carlotta, zurich, switzerland
- 2007- 08 / “anti-war medals” thomas mann gallery, new orleans and shaw jewelry, northeast harbor, maine, usa
- 2006- 07 / “augenweide- le beau au quotidien” luxexpo, luxembourg, capital of culture
- 2006 / “jump”, jewellery gallery friends of carlotta, zurich, switzerland
- 2005 / “rietveld naar de beurs”, students of the gerrit rietveld academie at the beurs van berlage, amsterdam, the netherlands
- 2000 / final examination show, category “goldsmith” deutschherrenhof, trier, germany
collaborative artistic projects
from 2009 to 2011 i was an active member of the association iueoa asbl, which has as an objective to make people aware of environmental changes and their risks through cultural activities (organisation of exhibitions, creation of a new magazine, punctual actions on various places).
since 2018 i am part of the committee of the multi-disciplinary collective “dkollektiv”, installed on the former industrial site of the iron industry in dudelange, luxembourg. people with various backgrounds are invited to participate in a democratic renovation process of a building on that site with the prospect to establish co-working and long-term collaborations (https://dkollektiv.org/dkollage/).
since 2019, i am part of the committee of the ferroforum, a co-operative project growing in an existing structure of the former iron industry of schifflange, luxembourg. by sharing their appreciation of iron, its processing and its symbolism in the social and cultural history of luxembourg, the members want to foster the exchange with their public and create interaction through practical workshops and all kind of activities around tangible and intangible memory (www.ferroforum.lu).
presentations, activities (selection)
- 2019 / workshops on mould making and tin casting in front of the former mine of hussigny and during the “journées européennes du patrimoine”, park of the industrial site uckange, france
- 2018 / participation: children’s opening “mudamini”, musée d’art moderne grand-duc jean, luxembourg
- 2017 and 2018 / public team performance: “neiegoss”, the melting process of iron shown during the blast furnace festival, esch-belval, luxembourg
- 2016 and more / jewellery workshop: makerspace “creatorzone”, lycée technique de bonnevoie, luxembourg
- 2009: workshop in collaboration with institutions for child care: “arbre à palabres”, on the subject of the 20th anniversary of the international convention of children’s rights, assisting the association a’musée, luxembourg
- 2007- 2012 / divers evening classes on basic goldsmith techniques for adults
professional service, consulting
during the national school reform, i was part of a working group (2009/2010) that had the task to elaborate the contents of a new evaluation system for all teachers of the school subject “groupe option et atelier” (gropa) for the general- education secondary school (years 7- 9, for pupils, who are not transferred to other secondary school but are oriented to the world of work). these reformations were accompanied by the script (“service de coordination de la recherche et de l’innovation pédagogiques et technologiques”) and coordinated by the ministry of education, luxembourg.