Andrea Anastasio - Convivenze

The history of our civilisation is the history of different forms of coexistence – as we exist alongside the world of plants and animals, alongside the sky and the stars but, above all, alongside other ethnicities, other cultures, other civilisations. All of human history, indeed, may be characterised as the alternation of war and peaceful coexistence. The thinking underlying the collection of vases designed for The Gallery addresses the essential opposition in the history of human civilisation between the transient nature of existence and all that takes a physical form. If, from one angle, a vase serves to contain living matter and to bring natural materials into the domestic living space, it also highlights their transience in a tangible metaphor of the impermanence of all living things. Over the centuries, the desire to escape the suffering caused by awareness of our own mortality has been expressed in myriad ways, generating a wealth of works of mythology, vision and narrative using a varied range of iconographic depictions. And coming back to vases, too, our civilisation has throughout the ages produced facsimiles of flowers capable of capturing beauty of form or nuance of colour for all time. Blooms which, by dint of the attempts to preserve them, have enriched the palette of techniques and materials, from natural fibres to silks, Venetian glass beads to plastics. These vases are a celebration of the act of bringing nature into the domestic space, the movement from the outside world into the interior world; yet at the same time they are offered as objects capable of encapsulating the contradictions of a human being that is simultaneously hunter-gatherer and elaborate artist-artisan. A meditation on the possibility of coexistence and reconciliation between the artificial and the natural, between appreciation of the world of physical objects and contemplation of inner landscapes.

Andrea Anastasio, 2015