The beauty of Marimekko

Well, it’s Mad March in Adelaide and there is so much happening. The weather has been glorious and it must be gratifying for all the organisers of particularly the outside performances to have such a large audience and great conditions. Exhibitors, performers, and artists pushing boundaries seem to be what it’s all about and there have been and still are so many shows to go to.  It’s easy to get excited about all this creative energy. The variation and choice this year has been amazing.

We haven’t had the opportunity to attend many events, but Helen and I attended the Grace Jones Concert at Elder Park last week and she certainly wowed the audience. All the more amazing because she is 69. Amazing Grace! We also attended the Lior ‘Compassion’ show at the Town Hall which was a very emotional, uplifting and memorable performance.

Another fascinating event is happening at the Bendigo Art Gallery in Victoria. It is hosting a Marimekko Exhibition, which showcases the history of this iconic Finnish fabric company right back to its inception in 1951. I have strong memories of Marimekko designs from the 1980s because of Thelma Mitchell from Colonial Galleries – she stocked the fabrics in her small emporium on Fullarton Road, Fullarton. During that time she was next to our retail store at Fullarton Village. CG no longer exists but in its day it was a store that displayed the newest of everything from interior design and home appliances, to fabrics, antique jewellery and even pot belly stoves. Thelma used to source her items from around the world and Marimekko was exclusively available through her. At the time, the patterns were like a breath of fresh air with motifs that were simple, bold, recognisable and colourful. I think the designs had an impact on my jewellery designs at the time, because I have always related to simple concepts with strength of shape and designs displaying recognisable style. It is great to see that the designs of Marimekko are now being refreshed and added to, as well as archive material being reprinted.

It is much the same as my work today – it is often influenced by my past concepts but is re-energised with new and interesting variations. I often have clients visit with pieces I have made for them over the past forty-plus years and it’s very gratifying that they are still in love with their pieces, celebrate the fact that the jewellery has been made well and are proud of the distinctiveness and originality they contain. I think our pieces were and continue to be admired by many and I find jewellery design for me is as exciting now as it ever has been. I would love you to visit our studio at Highgate and let me inspire you to have a special piece created.

I have included some of my most recent jewellery sketches which have a direct link to some of the iconic Marimekko ranges. Enjoy!

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Until next month
Love Nicholas X

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