For the first time Mia Maljojoki’s exuberant jewellery was presented at Galerie Rob Koudijs Amsterdam in a solo exhibition. From the moment the pieces were layed out, passers-by were drawn to the strong colours and bold shapes. ‘Maybe’ or ‘perhaps’ are no options with Maljojoki’s pieces: it is probably the most outspoken work you can find in the contemporary jewellery field today and you either love it or hate it. Fortunately many people had already been tempted and persuaded by Maljojoki’s jewellery at the two art-fairs where Rob Koudijs exhibited her work earlier this year.The appreciation of this work is not only a matter of seize and colour, but also of material: Maljojoki choose reinforced plaster as her principal medium. She builds up her pieces by adding layer upon layer, day after day, often incorporating small golden or silver elements or other precious objects. Through this proces the jewellery also refers to the passing of time and in this way they become Maljojoki’s wearable diary; after acquisition, a new owner will certainly lend the work her or his own individual interpretation. At Maljojoki’s graduation in January 2010 most of her work resembled big chuncks of rock, measuring between 10 to 15 centimetres, or more or less rectangular shapes of the same seize. They could either be fixed on clothes with the pin on the back or worn around the neck with a very beautifully customised band made of rubber or textile. Later on this jewellery was awarded the prestigious Herman Hofmann Preis during the 2010 Schmuck exhibition at the Handwerksmesse in Munich.
Making new work should never deteriorate to repeating succesful tricks, a danger all the greater when a style is very outspoken, recognisable and has gained recognition. So it is always a great relief that an artist doesn’t get stuck in an specific approach. For her show at Galerie Rob Koudijs Maljojoki had been very busy: in addition to the already substantial collection of her jewellery in the gallery, she brought with her a lot of exciting new work. In these pieces there was a distinct shift of focus, the best described as being more painterly. Often different fragments, each with their own distinct colour, were combined in one piece; sometimes extra lines or patterns were applied on top of the voluminous layers. The most recent necklace was the highlight of the show. It was no longer made up from three dimentional elements, but from big, flat ovals covered with a variety of patterns.Mia Maljojoki explained that these last pieces, now on display in the gallery, are the conclusion of this group of work; new ideas are pressing to be developed and executed. At the moment she is working on an assignment from the Dutch MMKA – Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem: http://www.mmkarnhem.nl/ENG – to make an installation for the major jewellery exhibition ‘Unleased!’, due to open on the 5th of November. There we can get a first glimps of the new Maljojoki style. But to Oooh and Aaah at the ‘Fireworks’ you will have to visit the exhibition at Galerie Rob Koudijs.