“PLASTERRORISING – Create and maintain a state of extreme fear and distress in a soft mixture of sand and cement and sometimes with water; fill with terror to form a smooth hard surface when dried.
EGGLYING – An oval or round object laid by a female bird, reptile, fish or invertebrate saying something untrue about containing a developing embryo.
BRICKOLLAGING – Create a piece of art by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric on to a small rectangular block typically made of fired or sun dried clay, used in building.
A small booklet of some 30 enchanting definitions, of which those above are just a few, accompanies Stathis Dimitriadis‘ installation Astathia in the Westminster Reference Library. Dimitriadis explains, “Astathia in Greek is the negation of constancy, which also happens to be my name’s origin; so this has been an opportunity to question my identity.”
This is quite a departure from Dimitriadis’ ceramic practice, which saw him a finalist in the 2016 Broomhill National Sculpture Competition. While ceramics remain, they don’t take centre stage in the installation which comprises a precariously balanced collection of objects – paper-covered bricks, brick-shaped shaped cages, some containing small and intriguing objects, all of which have significance: Lego, rice, eggs, even herbs which I know grow high in the mountains above his home village in Greece.
I spot a small ceramic column, reminiscent of Escape from Reason, one of the works he is showing at the Murmurations Gallery in Bexhill, where he is exhibiting along with Paul Tuppeny and me. “Look carefully,” he said, “you will find your own name.” Sure enough there was a small part of a poster for The Texture of Time.
The focus of the installation is in the central structure but it also spreads out around the room. There are brick shaped gaps among the ultramarine portraits; the missing pieces appear on the surrounding walls As you circle the anarchic structure, it draws you in. The longer you look, the more you see.
These oddly juxtaposed objects are more than just a reflection of Dimitriadis’ life, some you can interpret; the rice – marriage, the Thomas the Tank Engine – children; the snail shells, the frustrations of gardening, or indeed frustrations generally. Thus they are common to us all, reflecting the many facets and compartments that we all have in our lives. Overall, an excellent example of Brickollaging.
Astathia is showing at Westminster Reference Library, 35 St Martin’s Street, LondonWC2H 7HP, until 24 March