Gela Tolken

Not Letting Anyone See Inside

"I, Angela (or Gela as I prefer it) am of German descent and was born in Windhoek, Namibia. In 2000 I moved to Stellenbosch to study Creative Jewellery Design and Metal Techniques at the University of Stellenbosch, graduating with my Masters in Arts in March 2006. I currently live and work in Stellenbosch as an independent art jeweller and a part-time staff member of the Division for Creative Jewellery Design and Metal Techniques, University of Stellenbosch. Throughout my studies I was particularly interested in the creative process as a means of self-expression – a fascination which still continues to determine the focus of my creative practice. I tend to create my jewellery with all my heart and soul, and the pieces inevitably tell stories about me in the end. My work reveals my fascination with texture, pattern, rhythm, movement, contrasts, systems and nature. My personal style inevitably includes the use of strong, clear and simple lines, fine detail, colour, contrast and repetition. Labour-intensive processes usually constitute the bulk of my visual vocabulary and the structure of my creative practice is often meticulous and deliberate Being involved in the entire process of designing, conceptualizing, testing and then making a piece is a highly fulfilling, albeit at times distressing, experience. I design and produce my pieces myself and only create a piece once. All works are manufactured entirely by hand, usually over a period of several days or even weeks. My pieces, if not the work processes themselves, reveal my obsessiveness as well as my firm belief in immaculate craftsmanship. I find enormous joy in closely observing fine details - marveling at textures, compositions and patterns. Usually I feel compelled to touch them, trying to take them in with all of my senses. These instances of noting the inherent beauty in something always constitute moments of wonder and surprise, moments I consider to be ‘soul food’. For me there is nothing more nurturing than being in nature, especially in remote places. Wide, apparently empty and silent expanses with nobody there (except perhaps for a few very close and special people) quite literally provide my soul with the space it needs to fully be, and to take flight. Hiking the un-trodden slopes of the Cederberg or the Brandberg, experiencing the magic of Namibia’s arid south, its deserts and the Damaraland, taking in light changes of magnificent sunsets and sleeping under stars are priceless for me." AnGela Tölken


Appearing Aloof I

Always Holding Back

(over)Structured II

Appearances are Deceptive II

- I am not hard and cold.

Thinking too much

I'd Rather Watch

For more work by Gela please see

Website: Gela Tolken