Conversation Piece, is a collaborative practice initiated in 2011 by artists Beatrice Brovia and Nicolas Cheng. This hands-on study of interconnectedness and interdependency: is a reflection on making together through conversation, misunderstanding and friction. 

Having both a background in interior architecture and design prior to craft and jewellery, Brovia and Cheng look for the connections, rather than the differences, among disciplines, entities, systems and ways of being, and are motivated to investigate the agency of jewellery and craft in particular. 

The exhibition Animacy revisits and connects together past and current projects, made over a period of nine years. Asking how our connection to the material world would change, if we developed a language of animacy. That is, if we responded to our surroundings, starting from objects and materials around us, as if they were kindred, sentient beings?

The works at the epicentre of the exhibition pose questions and ideas of anthropogenic sublime; of the eerie, unsettling beauty of a landscape profoundly affected by human action; of the intimate, enfolding boundaries that connect materials, objects and people; of the possibility of becoming together with others.



Beatrice Brovia (Italy/ Sweden) and Nicolas Cheng (Hong Kong/ Sweden) are jewellery artists, researchers and cross-disciplinary makers based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Brovia received a BSc in Interior Architecture from Politecnico di Milano, and an MFA in Jewellery and Corpus from Konstfack, in 2009; since 2013 she has been working as lecturer on art jewellery at Ädellab, Konstfack, where she is currently head of the Bachelor Program.

Cheng graduated with a BA from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2006, and earned his MFA in Jewellery and Corpus from Konstfack in 2010. In 2019, he obtained his PhD in Crafts from the University of Gothenburg

While maintaining an individual studio practice, in 2011 Brovia and Cheng co-founded Conversation Piece in Stockholm, a collaborative artistic practice with a main focus on jewellery, materiality and craft discourse. Conversation Piece was awarded the First Prize (professional category) - New Traditional Jewellery at the 2014 Sieraad Art Fair, and the Bronze Prize at the 2015 Cheongju International Craft Biennale. Their collaborative work has been published and exhibited internationally, among venues such as Triennale Design Museum (Italy), MAD – The Museum of Arts and Design (United States of America), Design Miami and Basel (United States of America/ Switzerland) and The Dowse Art Museum, (New Zealand).

 Brovia and Cheng are visiting New Zealand on Blumhardt Foundation's inaugural residency. 

Animacy, Beatrice Brovia and Nicolas Cheng, Kino, brooches, 2014. Quartz crystal, gold, optical film. Image: Samuel Hartnett.

Beatrice Brovia and Nicolas Cheng, Gold Rush, pendant, 2016. Image: Samuel Hartnett.

Beatrice Brovia and Nicolas Cheng, nu jade bracelets 3 of 3. Image: Samuel Hartnett.