Terhi Tolvanen was born in Helsinki on the Finnish south coast, in a family that seems to be made up from only dentists. So attention for precision and craftmanship must have been part of her genetic make-up, yet she had other ambitions. In 1989 she went to the city of Lahti, some 60 miles up north, to get her training as a jeweller. Four years later the fame of the jewellery department of the Dutch Rietveld Academy drove her even further from her native soil; she moved to Amsterdam. After obtaining her bachelor and master degrees there, the city would remain her home base for many years to come, till, at the beginning of the new century, love unexpectedly lured her to the French countryside. Once again another country, another language, and of course different customs and attitudes…
When Tolvanen, after all these migration adventures, became 50 last year, it was for her a fitting moment for some introspection: ‘where are my roots’, ‘where is my home’? In the end – it appeared – she is at home at any location, because over the years she has created her own parallel universe. However imaginary, it is the spot that makes her come alive. Her very personal, ‘hidden island’ where she often feels more comfortable than in actual life… In this alternative reality Finland is always present: as much in an awareness for light and a familiarity with nature, as in the decisions for choosing certain colours and materials. Tolvanen’s precious metal is nature itself. A well-nigh endless supply – gathered over many years – of wood, branches and roots is her source of inspiration and also her raw material.
For her new exhibition she made, amongst other things, two long necklaces: the one, Wood Diary, assembles – nearly – all the wood species she ever used and still applies in her work; in the other, a complementary piece made of silver, Wood Identities, every fragment has been labelled with its correct name, like a kind of eighteenth century catalogue. The necklace Solstice is composed of 13 pale ‘solar discs’: representing the night that doesn’t become dark when the sun reaches its northernmost position during the summer.
In Terhi Tolvanen’s world the serene Finnish sun exists simply next to its intens French guise, her technical abilities and Dutch design attitude coincide effortless, and all of her life’s undertakings prove to be rooted in just one undivided natural development.
FrontRoom: Kiko Gianocca
Well Deep Well
The career of Kiko Gianocca as a jewellery designer started when he was still a little boy sitting at the kitchen table. To pass the time he crumpled aluminum foil into all kinds of forms. Later, after the educations he attended in Florence, Barcelona and Melbourne, his skills in metalworking have substantially increased, nevertheless, that simple, straightforward approach from his early childhood never quite lost its charm.
Well Deep Well
He recently rolled out silver so thin that it became akin to kitchen foil, and, once again, he started crumpling it. The almost casual processing contrasts splendidly with the classic appearance of the earrings that were the result. On top of that, the pieces are very easy to wear because they are so light. To preserve their shape and sparkle each finished work was rhodium plated.
Equally intriguing is Gianocca’s Who am I? ring. They are basically traditional signet rings, each cast from its own wax model. In the artists hands they are not linked to somebody through the addition of a family crest, he just fitted the front of the ring with two holes, and presto, a face appears! In the most recent version of the design a more or less Freudian twist is introduced: the outside world sees the ‘large face’ visible on the front, while on the inside there is also a tiny, hidden portrait (with the real expression of the wearer?).
A brand new group of work will be coming to the exhibition! As is clear from the jewellery mentioned above, Gianocca is an artist with surprising ideas. This time it is his intention to give, regular, everyday objects an unexpected, renewed meaning. What that will look like is as much a mystery to you as it is to us… The secrets have yet to be revealed – so do drop in at the gallery to have a look!
(© Galerie Rob Koudijs)
This article is published
in the OBSESSED! Jewellery Festival Paper.
OBSESSED! is a biennial jewellery festival taking place in various cities across the Netherlands. OBSESSED! unites the best jewellery-related events – museum and gallery exhibitions, talks, fairs, book presentations and artist open studios – into one intriguing programme put together by Current Obsession.
Galerie Rob Koudijs
Terhi Tolvanen, FrontRoom: Kiko Gianocca
Elandsgracht 12 HUIS
02–11–2019 until 21–12–2019
Wed-Sat from 12:00–17:00
Opening 02 November from 17:00