life and work

personal development

birgit thalau graduated from secondary school in 1995 in the artistic department (luxembourg) and then learned goldsmithing (certificate 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”).

selective masterclasses

  • 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 grants

  • 2023: subsidy for creating the works of the exhibition at saarländisches künstlerhaus, part of “saarart 2023”, by the ministry of culture, luxembourg.
  • 2022: jury award in the context of the exhibition “in fieri” at mad, home of creators brussels, belgium.
  • 2021: nominee “newcomer 2022”, foundation of the german design council, frankfurt, germany.
  • 2021: grant “neistart- résidence d’artiste à domicile” (encouraging the revival 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.
  • 2018: finalists of the art jewelry night“symbiosis”, budapest, hungary
  • 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: finalist “confrontations”, 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).

exhibitions (solo)

selection of group exhibitions

  • 2024 mk&g messe, museum für kunst und gewerbe, hamburg, germany / “mystique”, galerie becraft, anciens abattoirs de mons, belgium / “contemporary jewellery biennial”, lisbon with galerie beyond / “brussels jewellery week” brussels, belgium with galerie beyond / “Kunst RAI”, art fair, amsterdam with galerie beyond / “this is now” during “schmuck 2024” with galerie beyond
  • 2023what’s in a name- obsessed” with galerie beyond, antwerp / “gesture and territory”, fine contemporary craft biennale by the association “de mains de maîtres”, luxembourg /rockstars“, graduates from the gemstone and jewellery dpt. from idar- oberstein guesting at becraft, mons, belgium / “devotional jewellery” during “contemporanya fair”, organised by associazione gioiello contemporaneo, barcelona, spain  / “curtain” with galerie beyond, antwerp, belgium /as if they were present“, galerie 2, saarländisches künstlerhaus, part of “saarart 202″3”, saarbrücken, germany / “contemporary alchemy – the art of transformation”, ethnographic museum, slovenian jewellery week, ljubljana, slovenia / “devotional jewellery”, melting point valencia, spain, organised by associazione gioiello contemporaneo / “nsaio7”, jewellery by students of the school’s campus, villa bengel, idar-oberstein, germany
  • 2022 “devotional jewellery”, exhibition organised by the association associazione gioiello contemporaneo, oratory of san rocco, padova, italy /révélations, biennale internationale des métiers d’art et de la création”, organised by de mains de maîtres for luxemburgish creators, grand palais, paris, france / “in fieri” exhibition part of the “brussels jewellery week” an initiative of les brucelles asbl, brussels, belgium
  • 2021 online exhibition: new talents by klimt02, school members presenting their degree show, “hochschule trier”, bfa and mfa 2021, www / “living the material”, fine contemporary craft biennale by the association “de mains de maîtres”, luxembourg / with “enter the exit”: “intergem” fair, idar- oberstein, germany / “automat”, independent space for contemporary art and cultural projects, saarbrücken, germany / “object rotterdam”, the netherlands / virtual exhibition: “digigem02” by campusidaroberstein, instagram channel / 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 / “symbiosis”, 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 / “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

presentations, activities

  • 2023: finissage and artist talk lead by german journalist, television presenter, and author manuel andrack, gallery 2, saarländisches künstlerhaus, within the framework of the project “saarART2023”, saarbrücken, germany
  • 2022: conception, creation and supervision of a workshop on mould making and aluminium casting within the framework of the exhibition “minettREMIX” by industriekultur-CNCI asbl, hall fondouq, dudelange, luxembourg
  • 2022: conception, creation and supervision of a cycle of workshops “prototype- copy- bijou” on mould making and tin casting within the framework of the exhibition garden of resistance by the artists martine feipel and jean bechameil, musée d’art moderne grand-duc jean, luxembourg
  • 2021: introduction to goldsmithing and stone carving (with Levan Jishkariani) for members of the ferroforum, idar-oberstein, germany
  • since 2009: teaching activity (introduction to arts and crafts), lycée technique de bonnevoie, luxembourg
  • 2009: co-animation of workshops in collaboration with institutions for childcare: “arbre à palabres”, on the subject of the 20th anniversary of the international convention of children’s rights by the association “a’musée”, luxembourg
  • 2007- 2012: instruction on basic goldsmith techniques for adults during divers evening classes, the netherlands and luxembourg
  • 2005/6: assistance at the “holland festival” and “juli dans” with the mounting of the theatre stages and the promoting of the festival to a general public
  • 2001- 2002: assistance in the setting up of exhibitions and the archiving of artist’s data (casino luxembourg asbl, luxembourg)

collaborative artistic projects

2021: part of “enter the exit”, one of the end exam groups of the “trier university of applied sciences, campus for design and art, dept. of gemstones and jewellery, idar-oberstein”, organising common exhibitions for the promotion of our new works (https://entertheexit.art).

since 2019: 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). the memory is gathered in the ressourcerie, a place where we take stock, strive to preserve and wish to share this cultural heritage.

2018 – 2022: 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 shared work spaces and long-term collaborations (https://dkollektiv.org/dkollage/).

2009 – 2011: 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).

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.