Yana Yunakova

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Yana Yunakova | Handful of memory | paperclay, polyester thread

Yana Yunakova is one of the well renowned names in the field of ceramic design and ceramic art in Bulgaria. Her objects have a clear concept and speak to us in a subtle and gentle artistic language. They are made with precision and delicacy in relation to the material and the details. At the same time, Yana often combines contrasting elements and especially appreciates unconventional components that are far from mere experimentations and rather reflect the various possibilities of form, function and vision of an interior accessory. These are objects that can easily animate spaces and exist on their own as individual stylish highlights. Especially her earlier pieces bear the signs of nature and natural processes as inspiration.

The concept behind the current object was born out of a specific tassel – a small adornment to women’s, men’s and children’s festive clothing, preserved only in two villages in Bulgaria – Voyniagovo and Dabene. Her curiosity about the jewellery was triggered by the peculiar style of weaving the tassel.

With the present work, Yana turns her focus to a traditional Bulgarian technique, applying it to a contemporary artistic object with no utilitarian function. In addition to the method of weaving, Yana also retains the square shape, but with the scale enlarged many times, and replaces the glass coloured beads with ceramic monochrome elements. Each of the 196 ceramic elements used in the work is hand-made and only seemingly identical to the others. In order to fully express the character of the ceramic material, which also preserves the handprint, its natural color has been kept.