Unsaid Library meets graphic designer Louise Mertens
‘Ellipsis’ or ‘…’ marks that phase between one chapter of your life ending… and a new one beginning. It is also the theme of the new collection of artworks from graphic designer Louise Mertens and a new jewellery collection by Unsaid Library. Both are for sale in the brand new Unsaid Library Gallery in Antwerp. So if you are looking for an unique year end or Valentine’s day gift….
Text Anja Van Der Borght
After a year of extensive research about human emotions, captured through conversations with hundreds of people around the world across age and ethnicity, Shraddha Mehta, the founder of the Antwerp luxury gifting brand ‘Unsaid Library’ came up with 11 collections of jewellery that each represent a story or an emotion most people can relate to but rarely express in words.
‘Foolish or free’ – artwork by Louise Mertens. .'One’ – Artwork by Louise Mertens.
Louise Mertens has been through a rough patch this year. She ended a relation of ten years and as such closed a big chapter of her life, which made her experience a rollercoaster of emotions, each more intense than the other. She empowered opening up and learned to share ‘vulnerability’. Most of these emotions resulted in finding new energies and rediscovering herself. She wanted to translate these feelings into a work of art and that’s what brought the two creatives Shraddha and Louise together. “Louise translated her emotions through a series of art works under the name ‘Ellipsis’”, Shraddha says. “We ourselves with Unsaid Library captured those emotions in a series of jewellery also called Ellipsis. All jewels are in recycled 18 ct gold with natural diamonds (brilliant or pear cut) or other natural stones like rubies or pink sapphires. We are thinking of doing things with recycled silver next year.”
“There is so much people hold within that is often left unexpressed”, Shraddha says. “If we are able to capture these intangible emotions – these Unsaid emotions which are actually the most precious ones – into something tangible than nothing can make a better gift than that. So that is were the word ‘Unsaid’ in ‘Unsaid Library’ came from. Putting your emotions out there can be a very powerful experience and it brings people together; this is what we want to create with Unsaid Library. Today we are building a Library of emotions.”
“In continuum” – Artwork by Louise Mertens
Some emotions drift us apart but others bring us together. Even though emotions can be so powerful, many times we experience difficulties to express them. Unsaid Library helps us with that.
Louise Mertens (left) – Shraddha Mehta (right) Photo Sam De Backer
How did Louise Mertens and Shraddha Mehta meet ?
“I write a lot for myself and I wanted to see how I could translate some of my writing and my poetry into art”, Shraddha says. “Five years ago I approached art director and artist Louise Mertens because I am a big fan of her work as I think it is very provocative and comes from a very emotional place in her heart. I approached her again a few months ago. We met over a few coffees and she shared a very personal story of her, a life changing one.”
Shraddha Mehta, the founder of Unsaid Library, a luxury gifting brand: “Every journey with Unsaid Library starts with a series of conversations; someone sharing a very personal emotion or story.”
Closing one chapter to open a new one
“It was harsh to take such a step but at the same time it is also something beautiful”, Louise says. “I like the leap into the deep and into the ignorant. But on the other hand there is still a certain taboo and there is a lot involved if you do something like that, … I also noticed that part of your environment starts treating you differently. I have watched it a bit from the sidelines, you can say, I have been very observing in the positive sense.”
‘Pause’ – Artwork by Louise Mertens Surrender
“My artworks are always stronger when they come from emotions, so I’m very enthusiastic about this result”, Louise says. “Going through all these feelings and molding them into something that means so much to me is what I live for. And I think that a lot of people will be able to relate to these feelings. When I look back at this chapter of my life, I don’t see it as a loss, I see it as something to be thankful for, to cherish deeply and as a life lesson that new chapters arise when others close. That is why I chose hopefulness.”
Each artwork is a limited edition of two pieces, each for only six months. Each and every one has a unique and special story around it.
“In the Ellipsis collaboration with Unsaid Library I had a personalized Ellipsis jewel made – a name tag – designed with on the back the text ‘Nobody but the moon and me’ that refers to whatever you experience, you must always be able to count on yourself. I was born on a full moon and feel that all my life I have a special connection with the full moon. I am also very intuitive, when it is full moon I start doing crazy things.”
Why the exhibition is called ‘Ellipsis’? Because Ellipsis is ‘dot, dot, dot’ or ‘…’ and marks that phase between one chapter of your life ending and a new one beginning” Shraddha says. “The story continues. Life does not begin or end it continues… Louise was in the space of her life that she ended a big chapter of her life and began something new. The art works are capturing all the different emotions she went through like ‘loss’, ‘hope’ and ‘new found passion’. The entire emotion, the artworks and jewellery is captured through the idea of Ellipsis.
Louise Mertens in front of her favourite work ‘Pause’
My favourite work “The artwork ‘Pause’ is an important work for me”, Louise Mertens says. “There is stillness in the work. It is almost a promoting image, probably due to the few colors I used… the icy aspect… there is something distant in the work… If you experience a split in a relation the world stands still for a moment. But in fact nothing stops. The world goes on. The good thing about these experiences is that they make you realize that as a human being it is important to pause for a moment and wonder what you are doing, … it is something we tend to forget.”
You can visit the Ellipsis exposition from November 25th to January 12th (closed between Christmas and New Year) at De Burburestraat 20 in Antwerp. Open every Thursday to Sunday 1pm – 6pm.
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