My latest art installation ‘Cosmic Balls’ emerged from playful experimentation in the studio, combining various materials, techniques and textures to create striking spherical designs. The forms of these spheres were inspired by the formation and death of stars. As gas and dust begin to collapse under a swirling mass of gravitational attraction to form a star, they mature into adulthood over millions of years, with some becoming so dense they turn supernova, exploding completely. The elements formed in the star range from oxygen through to iron. For the purposes of my project Iron is a starting point since it is the heaviest element that can be formed from fusion inside of a star.
As a Cypriot living abroad for many years I feel disconnected from my land, thus this project is my attempt to reconnect. Soil from Cyprus has been gathered and studied from specific areas which hold great importance in my childhood memories. For example, soil was collected from my grandma’s garden in the Turkish-occupied village of Yialousa. Growing up in a post-war society had a massive effect of how we viewed our land, our soil. Thus, the material of the spheres is soil I recreated using various materials in my studio and mixed with iron, representing the routes, sequence of one’s life journey and his connection with land. Each sphere coming out of the mould is like no other due to the process used to cast it. And this is crucial to the concept of this installation as no star, no land and no man is like another. As we treasure jewellery for the way they recap our memories, this installation attempts to act as a harmonizer and a unifier of the physical world, the universe and our perception of it.
The choice of developing this piece into a necklace derives from the narrative of the importance of a pearl necklace. As the world’s oldest gem, the pearl and the pearl necklace were considered the ultimate status symbol. In this piece I revaluate the nature of the pearl in my newly reconstructed material and scale up the necklace as a dramatic effect to reconnect to my mother land.
While experiencing this exhibition I want the viewers to return home with a piece of my work, hence I have developed a digital version of my spheres which can be uploaded on an IOS or Android device. My work invites us to ask more profound questions about creativity rather than just providing convenient contemporary expressions of the use of new technology and the creation of a new material culture. This research in materiality and the digital aims to propose a new model for using digital technologies to boost creativity in contemporary design. It demonstrates both the use and need for material research and its acknowledgment of experiential knowledge to advance craft thinking and practice. I wish to welcome everyone to engage in the study and analysis of the digital fashion phenomenon.
Photography: Nikolas Louka