Best of beads

11 January 2018

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Tiny and colourful, fiddly and fun, iron-together beads have been keeping children occupied for over 50 years. But can they be made into “art”?

Johanna Acs and Alina Tang, artistic collaborators and best friends.

Absolutely YES, says Jolina (local visual artists Johanna Acs and Alina Tang).  The pair are putting together an exhibition of works made out of the ubiquitous beads as part of Fringe World 2018. Entitled “Bead Friends Forever”, we think this project sounds like Seesaw’s kinda thing! The bead buddies took a few minutes to tell us more about the show and their work.

Seesaw: What do you love most about what you do?
Jolina: We love being surrounded by colourful objects and our dearest friends. The fabulous thing about what we do is the community and friends that we are surrounded by! People always respond in a positive way to the enthusiasm, friendliness and colour that we bring to each project, so we are lucky to be constantly attracting an engaged, kind, and generous audience. We, of course, also love each others’ company and making ourselves laugh with silly jokes!

S: Tell us about your 2018 Fringe show!
J: In a nutshell, “Bead Friends Forever” is a collaborative show celebrating friendship and colour. We are in the process of creating hundreds of small, magical objects out of iron-together beads that we used to play with as children, which will be arranged on the Blank Slate gallery wall to create a spectacular and vibrant wall work.

Though most of the beads are created by us, part of the exhibition is celebrating not just our 23 year long friendship but also friendship in general, which is why we have invited some of our dearest buds to make their own bead creations to feature in the show. You can look forward to seeing smiling flowers, small babies, cakes, rainbows, fruits, booby houses, happy clouds, sad clouds, and more!

We are running two very special workshops, Sunday 28 January at Paper Mountain, open to all bead friends of all ages, please email us at for more information and to join in!

S: Are you new to Fringe World?
J: This is the first time we are working together as a duo at Fringe! In the past Johanna has helped Alina out with a solo project called Guilt Flowers (2015), a very sweet set-up at the Pleasure Gardens in which we gave out flowers. Unfortunately we were next to a kissing booth run by a lovely man named Paul, which caused some confusion for some inebriated Fringe-goers who were very prepared to pay for a kiss from us. We hope to avoid that kind of confusion this year.

S: Aside from your show, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing at Fringe?
J: As longtime fans and supporters of the wonderful Paper Mountain, we are super excited to explore all that the Peaks program has to offer! In particular, “The World’s Tiniest Zine Fair” looks like a lot of fun. We’ve always been huge fans of anything tiny and adorable.

“Bead Friends Forever” is showing at Paper Mountain, 27-31 January 2018. 

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