Finish jewelry artist Sari Liimatta graduated in 2003 with a BA in stonework and jewelry design from Carelia Polytechnic, Lappeenranta, Finland with a one year scholarship at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Jewellery Department in Amsterdam.
She uses plastic toy animals (horses, bulls, donkeys, teddy bears, bunnies, even puppy dogs) as work base although her art is not at all cute; better put it is a fascinating, bizarre even morbid representation of the nature. Animal nature, human nature and a reflection of consumerism they all blend in Liimatta’s conceptual aesthetic. The plastic animals are cut into, covered in precious stones, amber or glass beads and pierced with metal pins being meticulously morphed into haunting contemporary jewelry sculptures.
Animals are an important source of inspiration for the artist partly due to her everyday experiences with them (as a devoted pet owner), but also as a study of animal images and symbols in different cultures and in art history. Ultimately, the artistic result, the sculpture is not about the animal as it is about human nature, its stories and effects on every living thing. “"My animals are loaded with symbolism. I always put stones or colors that clearly refer to humans. For example, the blue beads represent masculinity. Why work with animal figurines? They are part of our lives, each person can identify with them." (from Journal du Joura, 2009, Switzerland)
Sari Liimatta’s bejeweled sculptures (some of which are pendants or necklaces) are also artistic essays on the use of jewelry, object of desire, as a personal talisman. The artist who also professed as a University stone smithing teacher and final year project instructor sees the making of art jewelry as a “way to study and describe things in and around us” and a means of connecting to the society.
Art jewelry sculptures created by Sari Liimatta are displayed in European museum and gallery collections (including Klimt02 Gallery, Barcelona, Spain) and have been featured in an impressive number of jewelry design exhibitions, fairs, books and catalogs from all over the world.