News and Exhibitions

I have been looking at washed used thongs on the beach for years! I have always tried to work out how I could use them as a material. What could I make and how would I treat them. What concept would drive me to seek thongs as a material?

Most of the time I just collected them and put them in the bin as nothing was coming to me. Until now!

I have turned into an eco-warrior some time ago. Sure, even my household has still ways to improve. However, we are trying hard to reduce, reuse and recycle so it is just natural that these views and fight against plastic, consumerism, pollution and ignorance made it into my practice and became number one issue I discuss in and with my work.

 

The concept

In the nutshell, it is about the footprint left by human activities which become deadly to other species and to our planet.

 

The challenges

The challenge of this material is that I am dependent purely on what I find. This means that the final look, mostly colours, is still unknown to me. It all depends on what gets to be washed on the beach.

The other challenge is to make something beautiful from something ugly. Sure, some may argue that conceptually it is not necessary to make the final work beautiful. But I would like it to be aesthetically pleasing…..at least to me… as the inspiration for this project feeds from the beauty of Africa.

 

The Inspiration

The inspiration for this project comes from Africa and the very small part of this continent that I got to see. It is because I am here right now (to be specific, I am on Zanzibar Island, Tanzania) and I collected all these thongs from local beach where I go every day to play with my son or to kite. I admire the colours that are present everywhere. Beautiful fabrics are so dominant and everywhere. The way local women wear them is with such confidence and pride. I can’t stop admiring them.

 

The process

The first step after I collect the thongs from the beach is to thoroughly wash them with dishwashing detergent. Sometimes the surface is very slimy and covered with shells. Secondly, I dry them in strong sun. When they are clean and dry I cut them using Stanley knife and metal ruler. Lastly, I will assemble the individual pieces together.

 

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I am glad that I have done this “a few” times before! It seems like no matter how well one is prepared for the bump in, it always ends up taking up the whole day. I am grateful to have such a supportive and reliable exhibition buddy like Doris.

Here are a few pictures from the installation day.

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Why do we always want what we don’t have? Why do I live in Sydney when so many people would give anything to live in Prague? Prague is such a beautiful city rich in history, culture and social life. Why did I move across the world away from my family and my roots? The answer is, I don’t know and to be honest, now that I have been living in Australia for past 16 years I am ready for new again.

Doris and I have been thinking and talking about the subject of Grass Is Greener on several occasions and so it becomes just natural to respond to it in the manner that is closest to us. We put together an exhibition of works responding to this theme.

From me, you can see in the exhibition three groups of works.

1 – Australian influence – personality change – Discovery series.

2 – Current circumstances – bigger change is ahead – Mort Teapot.

3 – New me – accepting and working with the new normal – Sacred Treasure series.

Please come and join us for a glass of bubbles on Thursday 16th of August @ 6 pm 2018 at Gaffa Gallery, 281 Clarence Street, Sydney CBD 2000.


 

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Discovery series

August 1, 2018

It is not a wonder to me that over the past 16 years my way of thinking has changed. It also is easy to understand that I have been massively influenced by my travels and exposure to a multicultural environment. However, I did get a bit surprised to notice that my aesthetics have altered more than what I expected. The Discovery series of rings and necklaces is an image of a reverse of what I would be attracted to several years ago. Organic shape, mat finish and pearls were just not me. Yet, it appeals so attractively to me in this present moment. The Series is an exploration of casting technique (that I very rarely use) and a playful and accidental approach to the investigation of the form rather than carefully planned execution of developed sketches. Gumtree bark is representing the Australian nature on the land and pearls are representing the ocean that I got so much addicted to. The pearls used were donated to me by my good friend.

This is how the process went.

1 – inspiration. It was in the Blue Mountains at Blackheath when my partner was paragliding. I was enjoying the local lookout when I “tripped” over a gumtree bark on the forest floor. I loved its forms and dynamics instantly!

2 – formation of the bark into wearables. I picked random pieces of the bark and formed it into rings and pendants.

3 – sprueing of the model. Once bark was shaped into the form I sprued it to the base of the flask. As these models were so organic and irregular I did use bit more sprues and placed them instinctively into a position.

4 – when the model was sprued and placed in its base into the flask, the flask was filled with an investment, debubbled and after required resting time burned.

5 – when the time was right and burning cycle was over, I vacuum cast the work on this awesome machine.

6 – results exceeded my expectations! Casting turned out really well. Texture and form worked well. I also have got a few unplanned air bubbles cast in pendants that actually work perfectly.

7 – cleaning and refining the form after casting took some time. I guess, when you do it yourself you need to count with the time lost on this.

8 – decision making on the final look. Now, that I had the ring and a pendant shapes in front of me, I needed to decide how am I going to finish them. I knew I wanted to include pearls in some of them. I also needed to decide on the suspension of the pendants…….interestingly enough, here I revisited industrial looking aesthetics that I used to such a big fond of in past.

9 – construction of cups for pearls. As each pearl is a uniquely shaped so was each cup.

10 – chain for pendant suspension was simple but as usual time-consuming.

11 -  finish of the work. Liver of sulphur gel was used to blacken some of the pieces and rest was depletion plated.

12 -  so what do you think?

 

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Sacred Treasure Series

August 1, 2018

This series is definitely the most personal work I have ever made. Basically, all my emotions (LOVE, disbelieve, sadness, longings, brokenness, helplessness, jealousy, anger, forgiveness, acceptance and adaptation) are stored in those pieces. Last year we have lost our baby Leo at 20 weeks pregnancy due to a severe abnormality in his brain. We have [...]

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some photos of the Secret Treasure lockets

August 1, 2018
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straws for Nalu – the process and finished pieces

January 20, 2018

It is an exciting time in our lives as our family of two will now expand to three. Our baby boy’s expected due date is on 26/02/18 and his name is Nalu, meaning ocean wave in Hawaiian. In this time we can’t help but plan our near and far future and our sense of sustainability [...]

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My parent’s wedding rings

October 5, 2017

My father past away from a heart attack when I was six years old. My mum stopped wearing her wedding ring since, however, she kept her and my father’s ring safe until about four years ago. Four years ago she came for another visit to Australia and gave me both rings to melt and make [...]

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Pearl and 18ct yellow gold engagement ring

April 16, 2017

Another fun commission! The requirement for this engagement ring was to design a unique ring made of 18ct yellow gold, fine wire to be used for the ring and featuring pearl that comes from Australia. My client, her partner and I went for pearl shopping and she has chosen this beautiful Keshi pearl from Western [...]

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