Märta Mattsson | Petrified Lives
June 29 – July 19, 2012
Märta Mattsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden and has studied jewellery art at HDK-School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg, Hiko Mizuno College of Jewellery in Tokyo, Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and at the Royal College of Art in London. She has exhibited her work internationally at galleries and fairs and was most recently seleceted for Schmuck 2012 in Munich. Someone once told Märta: “You make jewellery for children, not for adults.” Given that she draws inspiration from her childhood experiences of playing with stuffed animals and slugs, her fellow students in Tokyo were right when they described her work as: ‘KimoKawaii’, which is in fact a combination of two words kawaii (cute) and kimoi (disgusting). Märta’s work is based on the tension that exists between attraction and repulsion. She translates her bizarre fantasies into ornament and invites people to marvel over their oddity.
Sometimes I see beauty in things that other people find strange or are even repulsed by. I become fascinated when there is something you do not want to see and the feeling you get when you do not want to look at something, yet you still do. My jewellery deals with the tension that lies between attraction and repulsion. I take seemingly inappropriate materials, making ordinary and familiar objects seem extraordinary and unfamiliar.
In the 18th century many new breeds of animals and plants were discovered and it was the main era of cabinets of curiosities. People collected rarities because it gave them the feeling of being in the presence of something extraordinary and marvellous. The cabinets of curiosities were not meant to sympathize with the creatures on display, only marvel over their oddity. In a world where not many new and exotic breeds are discovered I use dead creatures in my pieces to evoke wonder. The creatures are transformed and reborn; given a new life as objects of astonishment.