Joanna Manousis, Distilled Portrait, USA, 2014
The interior of a solid, cast crystal distillery jar contains the negative space of a magpie sitting on a pomegranate. Gilded with silver nitrate, the residual detail is transformed into a three-dimensional mirror reminiscent of cast metal. A taxidermy magpie sits on top of the jar peering intently at what seems to be its reflection within. Believed to be one of the most intelligent of all birds, the magpie is one of the few species known to be able to recognize itself in a mirror.
The negative space of the magpie and pomegranate inside the distillery jar is achieved by installing a sculpted magpie and pomegranate made of plaster / silica within the refractory mold of the jar. Crystal flows into the mold but cannot penetrate where the sculpture is placed. After a 2-3 week annealing process in the kiln, the refractory mold is broken apart, and the refractory magpie / pomegranate removed, thus leaving the negative space of these formations. The solid glass jar is polished by hand. The interior of the jar is then coated with silver nitrate in order to give the suggestion of a 3 dimensional mirrored statuette.
British – American artist, Joanna Manousis lives and works in the United States, creating sculptural objects and installations in glass and mixed media. Her work captures and animates liminal moments, revealing a world in which objects, beings and places are interconnected. Predominantly composed of glass the works induce reflection in the viewer, both physically and metaphorically.
Materials: Taxidermy magpie, Cast crystal, Stainless steel, Mirror
Dimensions: 16h x 6w x 6d inches
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