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Karina Kazlauskaite

'The Rattle Toy Necklace'

‘The Rattle Toy Necklace’ was inspired by toys from old times. It is made out of pig’s bladder stuffed with dried peas. My parents are from a farmer’s family in Lithuania and grew up playing with such toys like the rattle toy out of pigs bladder. Many toys made of animal parts are known in the history of toys. The toy bladder balloon represented playfulness and happiness for children, but it also reminds us about death.   

The material that I got as a waste from the slaughterhouse became my main material for the jewellery pieces for my project “Nature as a Toy”, of which the ‘Rattle Toy Necklace’ is a center-piece. 

My encounter with historical toys has provoked many more questions in my work. Those questions range from existential ones, to aesthetic questions, as well as questions about beauty standards in our society. 

The qualities, that contemporary society considers beautiful is very limited towards mainstream notions.  In my opinion, everyone has the right to question those limitations and feel beautiful no matter if you fit into those questionable beauty standards or not. My piece brakes with those standards. Besides interrogating those ‘human made’ beauty standards, I also want to talk about the relationship between humans and (farm) animals. Just like in what is seen as beautiful, we also like to make separations between animals that we call beautiful or those we simply see as useful. The same can be said for one individual animal which we divide in parts that are useful to us and those we consider waste. In my piece I took the bladder, which can be seen as an example of this problematic. While in older times the bladder was still seen as something that could bring joy (to children), today it is a waste product. 

The gold on the bladder represents cultural duality and hopefully can encourage individuals to question those contradictions.  

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