Out of The Blue - Interview with Ola Mirecka and Iga Górniak
I met with creatives Ola Mirecka and Iga Górniak at their studio near Ceresbyen. Our meeting took place a few days before they opening of Out of The Blue, so preparations for the installation were in full flow when I arrived.
Over the next 30 minutes we discussed the exhibition, their backgrounds as creatives, how they got to know one another and where their inspiration comes from (usually it comes from Out of the Blue!). I started by asking Ola and Iga how this project came about.
“From my perspective, I’ve known about AARHUSMAKERS since joining for a number of markets last year. I was approached about doing this exhibition at END OF THE LINE and immediately wanted to take part. It was initially planned to be my solo show but I decided it would be great to collaborate with someone on this project.”
After studying at art school in Warsaw, Ola moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art, taking her masters degree in Design Products under Daniel Charny and Roberto Feo and graduating in 2012.
After three years as a Product Designer at LEGO, Ola began working as a FabLab Spinderihallerne in Vejle - a place where she still runs art and technology workshops, and where the majority of the key elements for this Out of The Blue exhibition were produced. Alongside this work, Ola founded her own design company and, since 2017, has run her own fashion brand entitled Nej tak, farvel - making clothes grumpy and bored people.
“The foundation of this project was pretty straightforward actually. Ola invited me along and just asked me if I wanted to join.
We are both Polish designers, both work in Denmark and have both worked at some point for LEGO. We graduated from the same art school in Warsaw and this work for LEGO was actually where we met one another.”
After completing an internship at LEGO, Iga then studied her masters in Kolding design school with a focus on Design for Play. It was in May of 2019, a month before Iga’s graduation from the design school, that the Out of The Blue exhibition started to take shape in their minds.
“It was a good opportunity for me because I was just finishing my school and I started my own company at the beginning of the year - for which I’m currently doing some freelance work for LEGO House.
For this company I developed my own philosophies around my ideals for design and creation - so this provided the perfect opportunity to start putting these into practice.”
Ola’s work (pictured below) spans a range of genres, exploring the idea of drawing through three-dimensional language, narrative, performance, and moving image.
The aim of such work is to inspire creative thinking and daydreaming, emphasizing the ordinary to trigger childhood memories and joy in places where it has been forgotten.
With Ola’s ceramic Greek vases as their starting point, they decided to explore the multitude of inspirations and ideas stemming from Ancient Greece, from art, architecture and theatre to music and geometry.
“So from ancient Greece we wanted to progress to something common for us which we both had an interest in. I thought of the Nine muses - Greek deities that gave artists, philosophers and individuals the necessary inspiration for creation.
Today the nine muses are still uses as symbols of inspiration and artistic creation - so as two designers who are more artistic, intuitive and experimental in our approach, this fitted us perfectly.”
Both Ola and Iga’s work is rooted in how the use of space and objects can add playfulness and creativity to everyday life, and Out of The Blue reflects this passion.
“The motivation from the start of Out of The Blue was not just to present our own products to the gallery visitor as a one-way process.
We also want to talk about inspiration and our own process of creation to the viewers - in the hope of making them inspired too.”
“From our initial inspiration of Ancient Greece and the muses we created a mood board where we explored a range of our ideas and inspirations. We decided on subjects, shapes, materials - to bring the feel of the environment we wanted to create and present inside the END OF THE LINE gallery.
In preparation for the installation we ran workshops in Dokk1 for people to create masks which will be used in the gallery - the idea being to encourage self-expression, making them co-creators of the space and encourage interaction.”
“When we went to see the END OF THE LINE, we were inspired by this ‘mirror room’ at the gallery.
Our idea was to create an ‘atrium’ inspired still by our idea of the muses and Greek theatre.
The mirror atrium will be the point of interactivity for the exhibition, encouraging visitors to try on masks - to change their face and take a picture in the mirror - creating an ‘Instagrammable’ opportunity!
“Our point with the mask workshop was to show people that every inspiration is good, even if your inspiration is…salami! 🍕
We had one mask that was inspired by salami and one by lasagna! This was an ongoing interaction with the viewers - contributing before the exhibition and hopefully following up afterwards as well.”
(Ben: “What can visitors to END OF THE LINE expect?)
“We wanted people to be able to participate in this somehow and become a part of it. As we both worked for LEGO this play aspect of exhibiting is very important for both of us. I’ve worked on a lot of installation art so this part is important for me to create an experience - that’s woven into our exhibition.”
At the forefront of Ola’s own philosophy is to create work that emphasizes the function and importance of play as a tool.
In the era of self-curating and building your image, surrounding yourself with meaningful objects and communicating through them through the self journalism of social media, the way I use play is as a constant encouragement for spontaneous creativity.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a chance to use my philosophy in an installation setting. Part of my philosophy I’ve focused on the opposite of play which is boredom.
I think it’s healthy to be bored! The things I’m presenting are objects that came from conventionally ‘boring’ settings. I was taking a shower, walking around a building - just in moments when I allowed myself to do nothing and not be very distracted by external things.
They are a real mix of truly random inspiration: a shower curtain inspired by a wrinkle. My mum told me not to smile because you’ll get wrinkles. I’ve framed a part of the exhibition in the bathroom, so my products are in the bathroom: the time when you can let your mind contemplate and think.
“So the name ‘Out of the blue’ also relates to this boredom idea that is at the center of both of our work and creativity. Sometimes it can come like this just ‘out of the blue’ - when your mind is wandering and these ideas just pop out.
So we encourage everyone to come along and take part. Get inspired!”
‘Out of The Blue’ runs from September 6th to 28th, and is open Wednesday - Saturday between 12:00-17:00. Free entry.