After being trained as a goldsmith, Manon van Kouswijk studied jewellery in art school and graduated in 1995 from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where she worked later on as Head of the Jewellery Department from 2007-2010.
In 2010 she relocated to Melbourne, Australia, where she has set up her studio and is currently working in a partime position as coordinator of the Jewellery Studio and Lecturer at Monash University Faculty of Art & Design.
Manon is interested in the universal qualities of jewellery and other personal objects, the value and meaning they represent and the different roles they have in exchanges between people as gifts, souvenirs, heirlooms. In her work she makes aspects of the way we use and handle things visible in the objects themselves. Her working methods are quite elaborate and obsessive, ranging from making pearlchains of paper archive stickers on a thread and cutting butterflies out of mass-produced domestic objects to embroidering stains on table cloths. Subject matter and type of object usually define the chosen material and technique.
Her work is exhibited in galleries and museums and is part of private and public collections worldwide including Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Netherlands / Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch, the Netherlands / Dutch Textile Museum, Tilburg, the Netherlands / Foundation Françoise van den Bosch, the Netherlands / Røsska Museet Gøteborg Sweden / FNAC, Paris, France / NGV, Melbourne, Australia / Art Gallery of South Australia / MUDAC, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Manon van Kouswijk has been awarded the famous Southern Way McClelland Commission 2021 for her dynamic sculpture proposal ‘Peninsula Pearls’, to be installed in September 2021.