Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Nika Neelova

This Monday I spent the day invigilating for the winning entry of the historic portion of the British Society of Sculptors Sculpture Shock award.

The competition comprises three elements, subterranean, ambulatory and historic and encourages the artists to devise sculptures for spaces we would not usually encounter contemporary sculpture.

Nika Neelova was the winner of the historic award and her work was installed temporarily on Thursday 14th in the church of the Holy Trinity just off Sloane Square. Monday was the last day of the exhibition.

The sculpture is entitled North Taurids Following the Meteor Shower. It was located on the north side of the church in front of the Lady Chapel. The main part of the sculpture is on wooden boards in the centre of the space and then there are several other pieces scattered around. The polyhedra shapes are created by pouring different materials into wooden moulds, (these moulds are also included in the work complete with the graffiti from the desks the wood originated from). These materials include concrete and wax either alone or mixed with other materials such as marble dust to evoke the impression of stone and crystals one of the things that inspired the artist.

The work interacts with the church space without imposing upon it. Nika was struck by the variety of geometrical forms used throughout the beautiful arts and crafts church which prompted her to look at sacred geometry and gave her the inspiration for the form of her work. As well as connecting the work symbolically with the site there is an aesthetic link. The concrete ties in with the vast columns supporting the roof while the wax looks like marble and granite, materials used throughout the rest of the churches ornamentation and furnishing.

The sculpture really came into it's own in the evening when the dramatic lighting cast strong and interesting shadows across the work. It also highlighted the translucency of the wax polyhedra which looked really effective and beautiful.

As well as drawing links with the art and architecture of the surrounding church the sculpture reminds viewers of all manner of things, crystals, meteors, an architectural dig, the pyramids of Egypt. There is lots to be seen in this at first sight simple work and encouraged me to look at the rest of this intriguing artist's body of work. If you are inspired to take a look too click here.

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