Plinky Plonky Ceramics

Ever since Misha read Gabriel García Márquez’s- One Hundred Years of Solitude at the age of 14 her world exploded in vision of cinematic colour scope. The crossing lines of narrative, colour and shapes of her 70’s childhood and its political complexities seams to permeate every aspect of Misha’s visual creativity.

Misha’s new work marks a clear evolution of her thinking about - and depiction of - themes that recur throughout her career. Misha has previously used painting as a mirror of self-reflection in order to come to terms with living as displaced person (a flower without a pot). Here lies the symbolic paradime.

Having keenly observed the Consumer world of the West in the past 30 years Misha in her latest exhibition entitled “Beautiful Artificial Light In The Age of Anti Wrinkle Creams”- a play on words inspired by an essay written by Roberto Ohrt about Frances Picabias work, Misha goes one step further, she has returned to her roots and retrieved into her imagination. (The focus is now on our crisis-hit world and uncertain political times and how to solve it).

Through this body of work Misha approaches the topical public discourse about geo politics and current state of the world. Exploring the personal subject of displacement, Misha's empathy with minority cultures, refuges, women’s right issues and her interest in exploring new cultures and her belief in development through humour while simultaneously addressing challenging subjects.

In her new body of work Misha depicts flowers in vases that are resting on colourful backgrounds of photograms, a collage of images and information blended together from the source of images Misha collects from internet. The ‘vase with flower’ becomes her actor. As Henry Mattise once said :” A good actor can have a part in 10 different plays; an object can play role in different pictures”. The ‘vase with flowers' trope has existed for so long it’s become invisible, an apparently forgotten and discarded relic of cliche and kitsch.

But it contains a densely compressed explosion of ideas and symbols that swirl around the mythos of the female - of fertility, transmutation and - in the Buddhist tradition - spiritual abundance. In religious rituals for the Hindu Shakti, for example, the small space of the vase becomes the universe, in the centre of which supreme forces exist for the initiate to gather and master.

This recuperation of deeply rooted themes contrasts with the backdrop against which they are framed. These abstract and abundant fields of colour and line are buzzing with nervous two dimensional anxiety. The colour palette and the energy of the markings refer to the now buried source material - abstracted Hentai illustrations, Japanese manga-infused depictions of male dominance, rape and power fantasies.

The never-satisfied, always distracted state in which this dislocated field of sexual agression persists stands in for our instantly redundant, surface only culture- transactional, bullying and ephemeral.

And so the deeply rooted symbolism of the vase and flower can in this context be read as an act of defiance,not so much a feminist moment of resistance but rather a timeless declaration of female self-worth.

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Copyright © Misha Milovanovich 2020