Tami Ichino et Théodora / Between sky and beads

1st - 30th November 2014

Behind the seductive brilliance of the colours and the shimmering materials, Théodora’s works question time, creation and transformation.  These themes recur from one sculpture to another, even from one exhibition to another, through similarities of form and hue which evolve in a continuous and coherent conversation.  Coloured strings, beads, eggshells and paper form the structure of her language which is expressed in a range of repeated shapes reinvented on each appearance. The undulating line meeting itself, like the symbol for infinity, takes on a different appearance and meaning according to each work.  Magnified, it reminds us of ADN strings in cell nuclei.  The strings form a tower when they are supported by wooden batons, or they are transformed into royal garments when they are covered in white beads.  The infinite cycle of creation and time is expressed by the man-woman complementarity in the sculptured pairs (Gaia and Sisyphus, Eros and Aphrodite) and, more subtly, by the original use of eggshell in mosaic.  Always pursuing temporal continuity, objects from a previous exhibition continue their lives in a new presentation as in the large broken eggshells made of tissue paper in the Icarus installation which become the hats of the strange moon dancers of venomous beauty.  But the inexorable passage of time is also symbolised by movement whether in swirling shapes or more explicitly in hanging sculptures.  These also question the significance and relevance of the plinth which the artist has designed and made as part of the sculpture.  All Théodora’s works are preoccupied with global art.  They form a corpus which is almost organic thanks to their progressive and coherent changes.

Tami Ichino’s paintings open onto fragments of sky like an interrogation about infinity and the invisible.  We search the mysterious depths of the azure surfaces crossed by plane trails or pierced by starlight.  All of infinity is concentrated in the paintings whose small size makes them exquisite and almost fragile.  The streams of cloud and points of starlight hold ajar a door to what the artist wants to show us, that which lies behind, and what the human eye cannot perceive even though it is sensed.  Silence envelopes these paintings which sometimes show an isolated or incongruous object.  Weather vane, clock, golf pennant, a branch or ear of wheat are presented as if seen from bottom to top as though telling us the real subject of the painting.  The artist confuses the observer by painting the objects out of their usual context like monuments of unknown size.  Stripped of unnecessary detail, the essential lines become emblems, sources of inspiration, they are witnesses of an invisible reality which is made almost tangible by their presence.  Tami Ichino paints as a poet uses words with the aim of revealing the indescribable through understatement, metaphor, alliteration.  Can we see traces of writing in the wires that hold a branch of green bamboo?  Does the telegraph pole have an urge to fly?  Must it be kept in place by cables?  Enigmas and hesitant replies are suggested in the spare beauty of the images, and a moving simplicity inevitably gives rise to contemplation and questioning. / N.Kunz

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