Uli Biskup: One year with Corona

How has the coronavirus affected the applied arts so far? Art Aurea asked jewelry designer Uli Biskup from Neuss.

Art Aurea What has the past year of coronavirus meant for you personally and economically?
Ursula Biskup First of all, I am happy to have my workshop in my home, where I can work safely and undisturbed. Fortunately, most of the galleries and stores I work with have also come through the crisis reasonably well so far, so I have had enough to do. There was even a lot more buying than usual last summer, perhaps instead of a vacation or even as a consolation. All in all, 2020 was better for me economically than I had feared.

AA What reactions did the pandemic trigger in you?
UB During the first lockdown in the spring of 2020, it seemed as though nothing was the same as it used to be. I suddenly felt totally lost and isolated. Simply continuing to work quietly and with my focus limited to my worktable was not an option. First I dug up the garden and created wildflower beds, then I discovered how useful Instagram could be. It might sound banal, but it was an effective way for me to combat isolation and stagnation. In times of shuttered museums and closed exhibitions, Instagram kept me connected to the outside world, where there are so many new and interesting things to discover. It also offered a new way to show my jewelry: often spontaneously, with photos I’d taken myself … and sometimes evoking immediate reactions.

AA How did things continue after the initial shock wore off?
UB Over the course of the year, I’ve become increasingly aware of how lucky I am to have my own workshop and to do handicrafts. How good it is now to simply be able to make beautiful and tangible things that also bring joy to others!

Uli Biskup

Working at the goldsmith’s workbench fulfills Ursula Biskup. Other crafts such as sewing, weaving and embroidery also come easily to her.

Uli Biskup

The clarity and thoughtful design of Ursula Biskup’s jewelry series are reflected by the orderliness of her workshop in Neuss.

Uli Biskup

In addition to minimalist necklaces, Ursula Biskup’s favorite theme is jewelry for the ears in a wide variety of styles.

AA What are your expectations for the remainder of the year?
UB I expect the coming weeks and months to be long ones and I assume that concrete planning is pointless for the time being. My only positive expectation is to have plenty of time on my hands. I envision 2021 as a sabbatical, during which I can work undisturbed and without time pressure on projects I have started and on new things. At the moment, I’m highly motivated and full of ideas. It’s an unexpected “gift” of time, and I hope I’ll be able to use it creatively and enjoy it.

AA What should we humans learn from the pandemic as a whole?
UB First of all, the most important thing is that we all stay healthy and confident. The pandemic made us aware of how fundamentally important health is for our individual lives and for society as a whole. I was also amazed at the extreme changes in behavior that suddenly became possible during the coronavirus crisis – changes which, incidentally, were also positive for the climate and the environment. I would like to see people voluntarily continue some of this: for example, traveling in a more environmentally friendly way, flying much less frequently, buying more consciously, sustainably and regionally, and cooking their own food.

AA That’s what we wish, too, dear Uli Biskup. Thank you for your answers.

Uli Biskup

The joy of colorful design versus coronavirus melancholy: Uli Biskup’s Ornamental Bird brooch.