We are Shadows
A new installation commissioned by Unit 2 Gallery, Whitechapel, London, 2008
Chicken skins (12.5m x 2.3m) and rice (4.64m x 3.58m)
full installation 19.6m x 4.64m x 3.58m
Hadzi-Vasileva’s practice can be characterized by her use of particular materials and by the level of industry and resourcefulness employed in production. As Alison Wilding observed: “Over the years, Elpida’s unexpected materials (watercress, fish skins, amongst other organic membranes) and equally unorthodox processes have come close to making textiles, carpets and lace; in her hands they have a manipulated and drawn quality.” We are Shadows continued with the artist’s interest in site, in terms of history and culture. Unit 2 was located opposite what could be considered the East End’s most famous street, Brick Lane. This area of the East End is renowned for having become over time, home to various generations of immigrants. The location resonates for Elpida, as she migrated from Macedonia to Britain during the early 1990s. As a result, Elpida is all too aware that below the surface of what is frequently celebrated as a ‘multi-cultural’ environment exist the histories and lives of communities imbued with the realities of loss, struggle, conflict and survival.
In her first solo show in London, Elpida presented a new installation commissioned by Unit 2 Gallery in which chicken skins had undergone a laborious process of chemically induced drying and hand-stitching to form a large canopy-like structure within the space.
A free illustrated brochure with an essay by Alison Wilding accompanies this exhibition - download (PDF).
- Photo: Bernard G Mills