Young artist exhibits jewellery with digital theme

Still from video work 'How To Exercise Self-Control', by Darja Popolitova. Sound design: Andres Nõlvak, VFX: Jakob Tulve
Still from video work 'How To Exercise Self-Control', by Darja Popolitova. Sound design: Andres Nõlvak, VFX: Jakob Tulve Source: Artist's collection.

A new jewellery exhibition by a young Estonian artist aims to combine more traditional, ritualistic features with the theme of digitality.

The solo show, from jewellery artist Darja Popolitova, incorporates five video works, jewellery, and installations, which aim to create a fictional world where a witch, called Seraphita, aids in to cope with the frustrations of everyday life.

Popolitova says: "Seraphita is a fictional character who helps me to expand the usual functions of jewellery.

"For example, to shoot the jewellery so that the viewer would be much more interested in watching a video clip rather than a stand-alone artifact attached to the stand," the author notes," she continues.

The exhibition, entitled "Tactilite: Stone that Tickles the Gaze", opened at the Hobusepea gallery in Tallinn's Old Town, and runs to the end of the month.

Darja's works have been publicized both in the local and the international media.

Kelly Riggs, a contemporary critic and curator, writes in Dutch art magazine Current Obsession that: "Though the physical jewellery objects are the crux of what Popolitova creates, they are also just a part of the total picture, or the collective persona she presents when she shares that jewellery online."

The exhibition incorporates video tutorials and jewellery-tools, tailored to the specific needs of viewers. For example, one person might like to become more self-confident, another — to bring lost intimacy into life, and still another, to cope with aggression, Popolitova says.

The artist considers materiality not only as a physical component, but also as a digital one, she says. The on-screen action performed by Seraphita the witch becomes a "ritual" involving corporeality. Without such powerful wearable symbols as jewellery, human life would not have sentimental values — gift-giving rituals, tactile moments, personal memories, Popolitova adds.

The exhibition is open to August 30, daily, except Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Hobusepea 2, Tallinn, and is created in conjunction with Jakob Tulve (VFX) and Andres Nõlvak (sound), with sponsors being he Cultural Endowment of Estonia ( (Eesti Kultuurkapital), the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA), Moe OÜ, Õllenaut OÜ, Hobusepea Gallery, Orbital Vox Studios.

Darja Popolitova at work. Source: Artist's collection

Darja Popolitova was born in 1989 in Sillamäe and lives and works in Tallinn. She has exhibited at the Museum Arnhem in Holland (2020), the Art and Design Museum in New York City (2019) and the Kunstnerforbundet gallery in Oslo (2018). Her works have been on display at two galleries in the Netherlands, Marzee in Nijmegen and Door in Mariaheide, Beyond in Antwerp, Belgium, as well as at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design in Tallinn.

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