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In this series, I explore the fragile balance of coexistence on the edge of parasitism. I am very often inspired by the process and the material itself. In this project, I draw an analogy with the transformation of ceramic forms which are “taken over” by the glaze and change the shape of the ceramic “skeleton” as symbiosis of two matters. To me, these sculptures resemble organic forms, as if life were frozen and halted within them.

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The project involved a lot of technological experimentation at the edge of the possibilities and limitations of clay material. I worked with crater glaze, a type of glaze that expands during firing and forms bubbles inside and on the surface. For that purpose, I created an open structure out of clay coils, resembling a sort of chaotic architectural structure or scaffoldings for the glaze to grow on. The crater glaze fills the space between the sticks in different ways. In some parts, it increases the thickness of the clay coils, while in others it expands too much, with its fragile bubbles joining together and filling most of the space, reshaping the object in a rather unpredictable way. Therefore, I would like to go beyond the fully controlled process.

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In my work, I visualize ruins, particularly those destroyed or encountered in abandoned buildings. I believe these materialize memory. They can accumulate history and appear as artifacts. My fascination with the environment, the process of decay, and the material itself prompts contemplation. I invite my viewers to reflect on what ruins can tell us about ourselves and our past experiences. I try to create a space in which the past does not end. Ruins for me emerge as a way of reflection, nostalgia and melancholy, their unfinished form provides an outlet for imagination and interpretation.

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“In the face of planetary uncertainty, we have no choice but to look for life in the ruins… Landscapes today are dotted with ruins all over the world. And such places can nevertheless be alive - despite their declared death.” Anna L. Tsing

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The series of works «Forest» refers to Raoul Franço's ideas that plants have certain ways of communicating with the outside world. The biologist argued that plants constantly observe events and phenomena and store information about them.

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2017-2018, 2022

© Nataliya Zuban 2023