The vanity of vanities
Youth fades, riches and power are ephemeral: here today, tomorrow who knows. Tamsin van Essen reminds us of this with her vases, inspired by "Vanitas" art by Flemish painters of the 17th century.
There’s a moment in the life of every object and living being, in which beauty and decadence meet. That moment marks the beginning of a relentless decline.
"Vanitas Vanitatum", the latest collection by British designer and ceramist Tamsin van Essen, takes us by hand into this world, exploring the transience of beauty and the vulnerability of excess.
To do so she draws inspiration from the melancholic opulence of Flemish "Vanitas" paintings, which depict the dusty and worn remains of lives spent on vain pursuits.
Tamsin thus brings design, whose aesthetic and superficiality often promise nothing but an infinitely glossy future, into the orbit of memento mori.
She designs vases in which the ornamental element is so heavy it deforms the shapes. After forging the pieces, Tamsin takes advantage of the sanding process to erode and carve the porcelain so that the decoration is part of the vase’s same structure.
Photos via vanessendesign.com
07 August 2012
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