This week I’m very proud to feature a great digital artist that I’ve been following for some years now: Daria Endresen, from Oslo, Norway. This post is very special since Daria was so kind to talk with me about a new interesting side project. She answered some questions and gave me the opportunity to have a few exclusive editorial images of “Thrjar”. Did I tickle your fancy enough?
Let me start with the visual part.
Daria considers herself more a digital artist than a photographer, as she spends a lot more time editing than shooting, nonetheless, in some backstage pictures she put online I noticed she’s also good at making props and shooting her subjects, at least recently, as she started working with other models; in most of all her previous works, in fact, she modeled for her pictures too. Let me just add that she’s self taught and you can easily understand how talented this girl is!
The results of her efforts are surreal and disquieting pictures: pale moribund human beings, sick figures with hooks pierced through the flesh, diaphanous angel-like girls with bodies partly covered in bandages. Yes, the unconscious of Daria is scary and disturbing, but she’s really skilled at making her visions a little less violent using the right colors and light, somehow softening a bit the dramatic nature of her works.
Daria showed her art in many collective exhibitions all around the world, has a couple of pieces in the permanent collection at MACS musem in Catania (Italy), and is currently preparing her 3rd and 4th solo shows in Belgium and Finland this summer.
Among all these great activities, recently Daria felt the need to start a side project, something different yet somehow related to her visual art. After some months of secret work, some weeks ago she announced “Thrjar”, her personal jewelry line. Now I am sure you really want to know more about this, because I thought the same when I saw Daria’s first post about “Thrjar”. That’s why I decided to ask her some questions, the result is this lovely interview.
1) Hi Daria, thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk with you about your new side project Thrjar Jewelry.
You recently announced to your fans and followers, that in the last 6 months you have been working
on your own jewelry line. Can you explain what pushed you to start this new project? Is it just a passion for jewels, or does it have something to do with a new way to express yourself?
Hello and thank you very much for having me here 🙂
A little known fact from my artistic biography – I used to work at a jewelry store some years ago and I kept in touch with my former boss, who has been dealing with jewels his whole life. One rainy day, in November 2015, we were having dinner and a vigorous discussion about the modern jewelry brands, the quality of their production and the high prices they offer it for. Hours later, on his way out, practically standing at the door, he suddenly asked “Why don’t you design something? You clearly have an eye for it” – and well, that’s basically how it all started. I kept entertaining the idea and the more I thought about it, the more I grew to like it. At some point I just sat down with a pen and a paper, and thus my first collection was born.
As soon as I was sure that I can actually bring my designs to life, I began searching for a suitable name – and I had a lot of variants, but somehow none of them felt right. Then one night, unable to sleep, I remembered the name of my digital artwork – “þrjár” – which is Icelandic for feminine plural of “three” – and at that moment I just knew that it’s the name I want to keep. “Three” undoubtedly is a special, magic number and I love the way this word is written (although I do realize it might be quite hard to pronounce – if you’re curious, you can check it out here http://forvo.com/word/þrjár/).
This is certainly a vast project for me and I deeply enjoyed working on every single part of it – I am looking forward to seeing how it will be received by others.
2) Thrjar will be a line of oxidized silver jewels with Nordic designs, can you tell our readers a bit more? What inspires the designs of your pieces?
The main inspiration derives from the runes – they are the basis for all my current designs. I’ve been interested in the topic for quite a while now and I just love the aesthetics and the stories surrounding it – from the myth of Odin sacrificing himself and obtaining the knowledge of the runes, to the mysterious runestones, scattered around Scandinavia.
I called my first collection “ErilaR” – it comes from the runic inscription on the Bratsberg buckle, found in Telemark, saying “Ek ErilaR”. The scholars still argue on the true meaning of it, but the most probable one, also the one I choose to adhere to, is “I (am the) Runemaster (Runecarver)”. I find a lot of mysticism in this short sentence – I would like to believe that my jewels carry some of it in them too 🙂
I also feel a deep connection to the nature of Norway and my love for it is reflected in my designs as well : tree branches, bark texture, the roughness and delicacy of it – all can be found in my jewelry pieces.
3) In which way (if there is one) is this side project related to your visual art?
There is definitely a very strong connection between the two. My latest series of images is focused on the ritual, particularly one of a sacrifice – it’s dark, somewhat disturbing but also poetic and beautiful. The jewelry designs may well be a part of it – with an ancient feel and spirit and perhaps a hidden ritualistic meaning. I can very well imagine my characters adorned in my jewelry.
4) I am sure you see jewels not only as a way to adorn the body, but also as a way of expressing the personality and character of who wears them. What’s the message that will speak through your pieces?
I think it’s a mix of something somber and long-lived – and therefore strong, wise and enduring; but on the other hand there is also a feminine delicate side of it. Imagine a völva (Norse shamanic seeress) – that’s what I had in mind.
5) Making jewels is an activity that involves manual skills, working with physical tools and materials, something really different from your usual work behind the camera and/or in front of the computer. I recently started thinking (and believe me, I really love technology and the internet) that we all need to get back dealing a bit with tangible things and nature.
Having a small, artisanal activity or hobby is a good way to start, do you have the same opinion? Are you enjoying having dirty hands, touching concrete things, feeling them?
Absolutely! For me personally it has been a very nice change. There’s definitely something special about crafting, you can literally feel the material and modify it to your liking – moving around pixels does not feel as tangible. Also, silversmithing is an ancient craft and it’s been practiced and honed for centuries – working with something that my ancestors might have been doing is like going back to my roots and somehow realizing that connection”.
6) Since I started the blog, I featured a lot of female jewelry makers, Wolf + Sadie, Hvnter Gvtherer and Cindy Leper just to name a few and I am sure you will be soon part of this new generation of dark artisans. Do you have any name in particular that inspired and / or encouraged you to start working on this project?
Ah I absolutely love Wolf + Sadie and Hvnter Gvtherer! I’d also like to mention Bloodmilk and Red Sofa Jewelry – feeling lucky to have some of their pieces in my possession. There are quite a lot of other smaller brands, very often one-man businesses, that make amazing original designs – and it’s always inspiring and motivating to read about their artistic journeys.
7) To close this small interview I think you can tell us when and where we will find your jewels. Will you be opening an online shop soon? Do you plan to have some distributors too? Or is it maybe too early to talk about it?
My website www.thrjar.com is pretty much ready – just a couple of final touches and it will be out, available to the public. The actual sale will start next week, on May 23rd – and if you are too impatient to wait for it, you can check out my instagram @thrjar.jewelry , where I post all kinds of updates, teasers, and Nordic-related content.
As for the distributors, I do have a couple of local Oslo stores in mind, and I suppose wholesales are not out of the question – but indeed all of this hopefully will come later on.
So I really hope you enjoyed reading about Daria’s art and her brand new project Thrjar, remember that you can help Reflectedfaith by sharing this post on you favorite social networks!