There is nothing quite like Belmacz. Launched as a jewellery line in 2000, today Belmacz also encompasses an alchemy-inspired beauty collection and an art gallery. Located in a Regency townhouse on Davies Street in London’s Mayfair, Belmacz Gallery juxtaposes jewels conceived by Belmacz founder, Julia Muggenburg, alongside art and objects which inspire her.
Belmacz Gallery features an annual exhibition programme including solo and group shows. The two-story space offers a platform for up-and-coming as well as established contemporary artists to display their work in the centre of London’s art world. The sensibility is avant-garde. Julia scouts out artists from around the world whose work strikes her to be a catalyst for change. She has showcased all manner of works from performance art to video, sculpture as well as conceptual and figurative painting.
Raised in Düsseldorf, Germany, Julia moved to London to study fine art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She derived the name Belmacz from ‘bel’ — the masculine term for ‘beautiful’ in French — and ‘maximus’ which means ‘greatest’ in Latin. She added ‘cz’ to lend the name an Eastern European slant. Belmacz also subtly references Suzanne Belperron, the daring master jeweller whose work Julia reveres.
Rooted in ancient gemcraft traditions, yet boldly contemporary, Belmacz jewellery evokes a twenty-first century take on the status-affirming ceremonial adornments worn by tribal chiefs and patriarchs. “Empowering primeval-modern ornaments for today’s cool, intellectual, urban warrior,” wrote Vivienne Becker describing them.
To reflect Julia’s twin passions for art and anthropology, Belmacz jewels fuse earthy exotic materials such as Zambian mopane wood or Sri Lankan ebony with sit-sit jade from Burmese Matsu, sky blue chalcedony, fiery amber or mammoth specimen along with a scattering of rose cut diamonds or rubies and set in 18 carat gold. The results are rich in intriguing contradictions: monumental yet tactile, powerful yet mysterious.
Redefining such universal forms as the ring, the cuff, or the necklace, Belmacz pieces afford a personal form of self expression. Many are one-of-a-kind originals while others are produced in a limited edition of eight.