Saturday, May 29, 2021

A Part Together - solo show at farm projects

My solo sculptural installation at FARMA Part Together is a narrative journey. It is an exploration of ceramic material through hand-building and slip-casting. It is a weaving together of nature with human form, and of thoughts drifting during the making process, asking, seeking and exploring. 

The free-standing sculptures echo tree trunks where the roots sink into the ground.

The small pinched pods are like sprites popping among flowers.

The "remnant shells" are hollowed out remains, sometimes found enveloped in vines, home to insects and other magical creatures. The wrought iron wall mounts were forged by Ken Roby in his Ohio-based studio, The Village Blacksmith.

The word tiles are thoughts that surface during the making process. 

Growing up in St. Petersburg, Russia, I was surrounded by the historically rich world of Imperial Russia. Summers were spent outside the city, at my family dachya, not far from tsars’ summer marble and stone residences. In direct contrast, our rustic dachya was built by great-grandfather, Simon, with wood found on the property.   

Family legends describe Simon’s soft spoken demeanor and  the healing power of being in his presence. Great-grandpa Simon built the dachya after his return from Siberia. He served in exile after being found guilty of owning his own business. 

Surrounded by a deep pine forest, he found solace in working with his hands. Immersed in nature, it was an escape from busy city life, perhaps an escape from his Siberian experiences. His serene presence is still felt there. The meditative repetitive motion of hand-building with porcelain, connects me to experiences from the dachya. With nature as my muse, my work explores human vulnerability, fragility, unease, and resilience.