Published on 10.12.15
Wilna has been a powerhouse of exploration throughout the MA course, outstripping everyone with the sheer volume of samples, flowing over her desk, up the walls and in some (unfortunate) cases, flying half way across workshops! “I learned that play leads to creativity,” She says, “If you follow the rules and do only what is
Wilna has been a powerhouse of exploration throughout the MA course, outstripping everyone with the sheer volume of samples, flowing over her desk, up the walls and in some (unfortunate) cases, flying half way across workshops!
“I learned that play leads to creativity,” She says, “If you follow the rules and do only what is expected, draw only using a pencil, you start to limit yourself. When I let go of restrictions, and what I felt was expected, I got inspired and had brainy moments!”
Wilna’s dedication to play, and to her work, really shone through during the show setup. Where others (I’m a guilty party) bemoaned the painting of one white plinth, Wilna sat surrounded by painters sheets almost as bright as her work for three straight days, fastidiously hand painting black and white grids over metres of wall space. Even after accidentally painting the skirting board and having a stern telling off from the buildings managers, she was still seen happily bouncing up and down the corridors searching for the illusive white paint bucket.
“Thats the concept, using the concept in the process.Using play and just doing what I felt like and not what was expected and it all leading to stronger outcomes. Then with the product, the wearer has the same enjoyment as the maker when wearing it.”.
Her designs are based on distortion, and on challenging perspectives, and she acknowledges that the pieces themselves challenge the concept of what jewellery can be, in her show space huge resin spheres and long primary coloured cords which have no obvious start or end point hang from lurid wall displays.
“The rope and the bouncy latex are reminiscent of playgrounds and happy memories! Throwing the rope over your shoulder and having the ball swing across your back draws people in. The amount of people who have looked at my work and said ‘I want to touch it!’, it’s all about the positive design triangle, representing the idea of designing for happiness is a strong concept, the triangle means work which invokes pleasure, personal significance and virtue”.
There is certainly an attraction, anyone who remembers salivating over pic’n’mix displays, or longing to plunge your hands into deep boxes of rubbery bouncy balls in Toys ‘r’ Us will be unable to pass Wilna’s work without twitching, childlike fingers. And if you express that urge, she will be the first one to instruct you to reach out and touch it! This is not jewellery for a stuffy cabinet display, this is jewellery that would have every health and safety officer in every primary school across Britain forgetting about conkers, and having psychadelic moire nightmares.
Though some of the materials used are ‘cheap and cheerful’ (I hope that is not offensive), the silky ribbons straight from the haberdashers bring back similar memories of standing in front of endless reels of fabric as a child, itching to take them all home and make something, anything, out of them. Their shiny, almost kitsch appearance is offset by the complexity of the resin pieces they are strung through, which glimmer with deep, layered colours and hidden, hand made shapes embedded at confusing angles – trying to figure out the process used is akin to holding a complex plastic puzzle ball in your hands on Christmas morning, attemting to memorise it before you take the plunge into disassembly, and knowing deep in your heart that you will probably never get it back together again.
In all, Wilna has produced a striking, successful and original body of work, which embodies not only the playful and boundless energy of it’s creator (‘Three-Jobs-and-a-distinction-Wilna’), but also exudes a confident type of class. It encourages curiosity and inspires wonderment, but above all, and perhaps most importantly, the jewellery is just a real honest pleasure to play with.