Into the depth of the surface

Into the depth of the surface

Exhibition name: Into the depth of the surface

Location - Periscope Gallery TLV

Curator: Galina Arbeli

The origin of the word “ornamentation” derives from the Latin word “Ornare” which means not only to decorate and embellish but also to arrange and organize. Since the dawn of civilisation, decoration expresses the basic need to embed a human aesthetic dimension by reorganising existing things. Ornamentation can be classified into three aspects: Shape - the decorations are a set of repetitive patterns; Purpose - the decoration is meant to beautify something else therefore it is not an independent entity but is submissive to the thing it’s beautifying. For example, an object, a building, a painting; Perspective to the beholder - the purpose of the decoration is to delight the eye of the beholder, to create visual and aesthetic ease and thus to induce a pleasant atmosphere of satisfaction.

In the work showcased in this exhibition, the artist Maiyan Ben Yona attempts to create a new order in the realm of decorations in which she has been working for the last couple of years and to examine what happens to the object (the ornamented) when the shapes which were meant to decorate it (the function) exceed the surface of the object.

In her first solo exhibition this exhibition, Maiyan takes the decoration patterns she uses in her work, removes them from the surface of the vessels they have decorated, and gives them three-dimensional life, sometimes as an independent object of another vessel and sometimes as a three-dimensional decoration adorning a vessel. With this act of disassembling and rebuilding, she changes the general shape of known objects and creates new lively and full of character objects that construct a new inviting world of vagrancy. This artificial world induces a sense of frozen in place nature that is constantly in motion and inviting the beholder to disconnect from the external world and to soak themselves within the objects, the patterns, and the three-dimensional decoration which brings unique character and personality.

In this method the objects displayed in this exhibition return to the realm of nature, a return that is expressed both in their circular and rounded shapes and in the natural colors of the materials they are made of - the naturally white porcelain and black clay. Additionally, there’s a tension created between the delicacy of the porcelain and the rawness and roughness of the clay. 

Consequently, this exhibition presents an artificial world that invites the viewer to wonder between its ornamented objects, observe them closely and marvel, delve into their details, follow the frozen movement of the objects that decipher their structure while pondering on the artistic process of turning a two-dimensional pattern into a three-dimensional one.

Photos by - Aya Wind

Hebrew article about the exhibition at Portfolio magazine