Inspired by Niloo Sharifi’s Micro-Commission project ‘Digital Mysticism (DM)’, Five2Watch this week is all about mysticism. Featuring work by Robert Foster, Chantal Powell, Martyn Cross, Stella Baraklianou and Dean Melbourne.
Upon waters, it is written, 2020
In July 2019 I undertook a research fellowship at the Venice Biennale thanks to The British Council and Wysing Arts Centre.
During the month, I navigated the city, and my interaction with it, through the lens of the Tarot deck. I used this regular activity as a moment of contemplation to consider the relationship between the image displayed and my lived experience of place.
I would draw a card and use this as a prompt to create a written response, somewhere between poetry and stream of consciousness. As the project developed, I begun making use of Suminagashi prints that I was creating as a background for my writing, the small rectangular format echoing the Tarot card itself.
Suminagashi is a form of paper marbling in which fluid, organic patterns are created by floating ink on water. The process resonated with me with the connections to Scrying and water divination, seeming an apt visual parallel to Tarot and my use of stream of consciousness as a form of contemplation.
On each reading I documented the card drawn, my written response, the location itself and the geographic coordinates in Google Maps. I would drop a pin, over time creating a network of points across the city to create a constellation of written and lived moments within the labyrinth of Venice.
Studies In Self Healing 12 (Lady Luck - Wizardry and Watchwords), 2017
Lourdes Holy Water collection bottle, gold duct tape.
From an ongoing series of small-scale sculptures and collage conceived during a period of chronic illness.
Themes of fragility, value, and transformation are explored through works that make use of primitive, natural materials. They reference a mythic world of pre-modern artifacts, talismans and alchemy – a faith in ritual and self-healing.
These objects and collages can be read both as intimate portraits of the artist’s experience and more widely as symbolic explorations into humankind’s psychological states.
And Yet You Must Perish, 2017
Plastic bags, acrylic paint.
The Magician, 2021
Location: Gloam Gallery, 160 Arundel Street Sheffield, S1 4RE
The Magician is a solo exhibition of the work of artist and researcher Stella Baraklianou.
Baraklianou’s practice takes up the idea of the reversible; the reversible encountered in nature, in energy distribution patterns, in magic and folklore, in clothing and garments, and in digital formats and algorithmic codes. Bringing together the material processes of craftwork, textiles, photography and digital fabrication, Baraklianou’s exhibition, which focuses on the presence and absence of ‘The Tarot Magician’.
The symbol of the crown has featured in my work for many years. Chantal describes the alchemical significance wonderfully in her description of her bronze Alchemy Crown.
For me the crown has come to describe my relationship with my own self importance. The less paletable side of my ego and vanity. My sense of self importnace that at times inflates.
In the destruction of an old painting to create a new surface I hope to have in some way acknowleded that creation works through me rather than by my will alone. The inverted golden triangles signify an inverted crown.