No breath breathed is ever the same. To examine the limitless potential of the fundamental, unconscious process of breathing, liquids that can transform into a solid, physical, representation of a single breath have been used to create a series of hand, ear, chest and body forms. Through limiting the influence over the forms, the pieces embody a unique moment that cannot be repeated. This moment is then made permanent through solidification processes. 100 Breaths reflects the infinite potential of the body in a moment and the unique temporality and pace of the individual when the objects are worn. Through the symbiotic relationship between worn objects and the human form, the site that the objects inhabit may be critically examined.
Alyra Bartasek, 9 Brass Breaths, 2015, brass
How did you come to making?
A close family friend in Austria gave me a short, crash course in silver-smithing and stone setting when I was in Klagenfurt in 2008. He instilled in me a respect for precious metals, whilst encouraging me to push the boundaries of what metals could achieve. This potential of material inspired me to consider an undergraduate degree majoring in metals and jewellery at Monash University and the rest is history.
Are there themes that run through your work?
My working methodology aims to examine how man-made objects have performed the role of extensions of the body, facilitating ways of knowing the world. Consequently a theme that runs throughout my work is an intense focus on the reciprocal relationship between the body and worn objects.
How would you describe your working process?
Very open and free flowing allowing both concept and material to fluctuate and inform one another. To date, my practice has incorporated sculpture, metal smiting, contemporary jewellery, video, sound, digital interactive and installation art forms.
What's your favourite material to work with?
Materials that can be used in conjunction with the intention of the work- generally to be worn. Materials that work with human form not against it whilst making a unique comment about the body and the body about the piece. In the past I have enjoyed working with metals and I believe that I will continue to use them as I feel that there are boundaries that can still be pushed and should be pushed in commenting on the body, object relationship.
If you could be wearing any piece of jewellery today what would it be?
A luscious, liquidise piece by Julia Maria Künnap. A solidified state of flux reflecting years of stone cutting mastery, to remind me of the importance of each ephemeral moment. These experiences may not seem meaningful now however perhaps someday they will.