MARINA STANIMIROVIC

ON PERSONAL OBJECTS, INTANGIBLE SPACES AND THE FUNCTION OF MATERIALS

marina

Marina Stanimirovic is a London based French jewellery designer or as she puts it ‘wearable objects maker’. She is interested in exploring rhythm and bodily movement in her pieces, which are minimal yet dynamic, setting up dialogues between forms, materials and bodies. Marina has graduated from an MA in Jewellery and Metal at Royal College of Art and works from her studio in Hackney.

WORDS Nina Thorstensen
PHOTOS Rosaline Shahnavaz

You often work with industrial materials. Can you speak about the journey that your pieces undertake, from choosing, sourcing and testing the material to putting everything together and completing it?

Every material that I use has a meaning in my pieces. In function of what I want to say I would choice a light, dense, soft, hard or dark material and try to go beyond what we know or normally use this material for. I like to divert its function and highlight another aspect or value. I like industrial materials because they bring to a piece some humanity, re-attaching it to the everyday. Once I find an interesting material, I like to experiment with it, but also confront it with another one, often opposite material. I never know in advance how they would be assembled until I find the right language.

Musical improvisations found in jazz or experimental music are a form of sensorial, involuntary language between the performers. These forms have also been part of your research into primal expressions where the subconscious is brought to the surface. Can you mention a few examples of compositions or composers that inspire you?

It is very hard to say as I am as much fascinated by the sound of a tram as by a piece of Miles Davies! But if I had to list some of the artists that influenced my work I would say the Gymnopedie of Erik Sati, Philip Glass, Chopin, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Alfredo Duarte Marceneiro, Bjork or Ben Frost.

You mentioned that in the intimacy between the pieces and the body you find the pure form of expression. How would you like the wearer to experience your pieces, to feel them, to think about them?

Everyone has their own way to react to a piece of jewellery. Regarding my work, I would imagine that the wearer experiences a piece as a very personal object that carries a special memory, sensation or feeling. A piece which you wouldn’t wear to show but for yourself. The other day, a friend of mine who bought a piece told me that, wearing it, she sometimes talked to it. That is exactly what I do too!

Lineaments is your first ready to wear, commercial collection that is based on variations of four shapes, with four colors to choose from. It is minimalistic and geometric, intended to work with bodily movements of the wearer. Did you look at anything specifically for this new collection?

As the name says, these pieces are my lines simplified and reduced to the maximum – my lineaments. I wanted to have a commercial edition that wouldn’t be simply bits and bobs put together to look nice, but still keeping to the essence and the meaning of my work. It was at first an edition for a friend and me but I decided to commercialize it in order introduce affordable contemporary jewellery products to a new public.

You also experimented with making sculpture and sound as part of your working methods that help you define the relationship with materiality. How do these and other creative processes influence your work with the jewellery?

My work is mostly about intangibility. To help me materialise it and chose the right textures, volumes, shapes and materials, I need to go through diverse creative processes. I use analogue photography to capture specific moments, collect different colours samples, textures and materials to define it visually and I also use sound to re-create my sensations and feelings. I am a material person – I need to see, feel and touch so these processes are primordial for me to understand what I am talking about.

Where do you see yourself going when you need a creative boost?

In London I love going for walks, exploring and memorising the city from observations of people and architecture. When I have the chance to leave I love going to more wild places, empty and quiet, particularly by the sea.

“I try to go beyond what we know or normally use a material for.”

You often work with industrial materials. Can you speak about the journey that your pieces undertake, from choosing, sourcing and testing the material to putting everything together and completing it?

Every material that I use has a meaning in my pieces. In function of what I want to say I would choice a light, dense, soft, hard or dark material and try to go beyond what we know or normally use this material for. I like to divert its function and highlight another aspect or value. I like industrial materials because they bring to a piece some humanity, re-attaching it to the everyday. Once I find an interesting material, I like to experiment with it, but also confront it with another one, often opposite material. I never know in advance how they would be assembled until I find the right language.

Musical improvisations found in jazz or experimental music are a form of sensorial, involuntary language between the performers. These forms have also been part of your research into primal expressions where the subconscious is brought to the surface. Can you mention a few examples of compositions or composers that inspire you?

It is very hard to say as I am as much fascinated by the sound of a tram as by a piece of Miles Davies! But if I had to list some of the artists that influenced my work I would say the Gymnopedie of Erik Sati, Philip Glass, Chopin, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Alfredo Duarte Marceneiro, Bjork or Ben Frost.

You mentioned that in the intimacy between the pieces and the body you find the pure form of expression. How would you like the wearer to experience your pieces, to feel them, to think about them?

Everyone has their own way to react to a piece of jewellery. Regarding my work, I would imagine that the wearer experiences a piece as a very personal object that carries a special memory, sensation or feeling. A piece which you wouldn’t wear to show but for yourself. The other day, a friend of mine who bought a piece told me that, wearing it, she sometimes talked to it. That is exactly what I do too!

Lineaments is your first ready to wear, commercial collection that is based on variations of four shapes, with four colors to choose from. It is minimalistic and geometric, intended to work with bodily movements of the wearer. Did you look at anything specifically for this new collection?

As the name says, these pieces are my lines simplified and reduced to the maximum – my lineaments. I wanted to have a commercial edition that wouldn’t be simply bits and bobs put together to look nice, but still keeping to the essence and the meaning of my work. It was at first an edition for a friend and me but I decided to commercialize it in order introduce affordable contemporary jewellery products to a new public.

You also experimented with making sculpture and sound as part of your working methods that help you define the relationship with materiality. How do these and other creative processes influence your work with the jewellery?

My work is mostly about intangibility. To help me materialise it and chose the right textures, volumes, shapes and materials, I need to go through diverse creative processes. I use analogue photography to capture specific moments, collect different colours samples, textures and materials to define it visually and I also use sound to re-create my sensations and feelings. I am a material person – I need to see, feel and touch so these processes are primordial for me to understand what I am talking about.

Where do you see yourself going when you need a creative boost?

In London I love going for walks, exploring and memorising the city from observations of people and architecture. When I have the chance to leave I love going to more wild places, empty and quiet, particularly by the sea.