– In 1992 graduated from Saint Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy
known in Soviet times as the Vera Mukhina Higher School of Art and Design.
Main specializations -
For 10 years scene-
Amsterdam. She has been running different art projects in St. Petersburg,
Warsaw and Copenhagen.
…Medieval art has attracted me throughout my professional career as
a gold smith, illustrator and designer of theatre sets. Within its sheer
endless repertoire of styles and forms, I have always been most
fascinated by the so-
depictions of fantastic animated creatures which figure freely in the
margins of medieval manuscripts, outside the strictly ordered text block
in the centre of the page… Read more>
Medieval art has attracted me throughout my professional career as a gold smith, illustrator and designer of theatre sets. Within its sheer endless repertoire of styles and forms, I have always been most fascinated by the so-
This empty and unregimented space offered the medieval artist the opportunity to give free rein to his own inspiration and imagination. It was the Terra Incognita he could populate with the scions of his fancy, the space where he could experiment and test the limits of what was socially acceptable. This resulted in a marvellous wonderland full of mischievous, whimsical hybrids known as ‘drolleries’, celebrating a permanent carnival and saturnalia. There are frolicking monkeys, flirting peasants, preaching foxes, asses wearing the Papal tiara, monks, nuns, and kings in half-
When searching for a new and original concept of wearable art, I soon recognized that these drolleries belonged to the most exquisite, attractive and amusing draftsmanshipthat the last millennium had brought forth. So I decided to make them the centrepiece of my ‘Ailettes’ project by encasing a new and unique figure, hand-
Ailette or ailette-
of leather or parchment laced to the shoulder; it was probably more decorative than protective
and usually bore the wearer’s coat of arms.
‘Ailettes’ is a line of jewellery inspired by the fascinating illuminations found on the margins
of Medieval manuscripts from the 13th to 15th century. Each unique piece is composed of a gilded
Necklace, a watch case used as a pendant, and a hand-
The Old Drollery
‘Ailettes’ was born from my interests in the art of the Medieval book illumination, costume jewelry
and theatre dress. It consists of a collection of necklaces created under the influence of medieval
aesthetics with it's exquisite Byzantine, robust barbarian, and elaborate Arab roots.
The New Parchments
Each of these unique miniatures in the collection is inspired by the work of medieval predecessors.
They are, however, not copies but variations; each one drawson an example in a specific manuscript,
enhancing and elaborating upon the authentic masterpiece, while fully maintaining the
original techniques, materials and principles of composition.
The parchments are locked into a decorative watch case. This not only protects its fragile materials
– parchment, gold leaf, water based paint – from the elements; it also lends a symbolic value to
the object: for the breed of drolleries which is given a new lease of life after so many centuries,
is thus literally ‘captured in time’ and lend a semblance of immortality.
Alice in wonderland
Midsummer Night dream
Stage and film production, performed by original Bunraku puppets.
Based on homonymous novel by J. L. Borges.
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© Francisca Shilova