Video

Fracture and Fragment

"Every act of creation is first an act of destruction." Pablo Picasso

Sandra Shashou’s new body of work, comprising of arrangements of smashed fragments of bone china tea sets, oscillates between modalities of dissolution and reformulation, order and rupture, and historical eras.

Her source material is the bone china produced by Europe’s finest porcelain manufacturers, as the titles of her works indicate – Hamilton, Argyle, Tuscan, Royal Albert, Wedgwood, Limoges, Meito hand-painted and Cobalt – and collected by her from dealers and flea markets. The designs range across centuries and topographies: in one work the lemons and blues of Art Deco, in another the crimson of Edwardian and Victorian designs, and in a third the blue tracery of Chinoiserie.

Shashou brings these tea sets back to her studio and using a small hammer she shatters, punctures, chips and fragments. And yet the shapes of the original crockery are somehow preserved and repurposed in her intricate constructions. The curves of the broken tea sets undulate across simple rectangular surfaces, or swirl around rotundas with a baroque flamboyance. In some the pieces lock tightly together as if part of some giant Cubist puzzle, in other shards seem to be caught in the freeze frame of a constructivist explosion. Her chromatically rich, harmonious works match crimsons, mustard yellows and pinks, or mauve, turquoise and blue. Set in a gold or white ground, Shashou’s fragments unfold like Jackson Pollock’s all-over paintings – only shattered, not splattered.

Shashou has found inspiration in the Japanese art of Kintsugi, in which broken bowls were repaired with beautiful golden joins, so fashionable in the 17th century, that people were accused of deliberately smashing valuable pottery so it could be remade in this manner.

Some may read a social comment in her work, a playful rupturing of bourgeois values. The order and tranquillity of a daily routine, with its echoes of Victorian Britain, Alice in Wonderland and social conformity, tea-time, has been literally shattered.

Shashou herself prefers to foreground the emotional and biographical metaphors embedded in the work. Smashing crockery is, after all, a time-honoured feature of the lovers’ row. “Breakage and fractures are part of the chance and fate of human life, part of our personal history,” she says, "I embrace vulnerability and fragility. In truth that is how we reveal ourselves and really connect.” When Shashou has looked back on love that has disintegrated, and reflected on the times when she has felt ‘shattered’, she has realised that the pieces have rearranged themselves in a new harmonious order. “They fitted together but not they did before."

EXHIBITIONS

2022

  • Commission of a large-scale sculpture of Die-Cast Toy cars, London, Uk
  • Commission of 100 porcelain Hearts, Gifts of Love, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
  • BFAMI Auction Phillips, London, UK
  • Grand Opening of Carousel Gallery, St Tropez, France
  • Contex, Carousel Fine Arts, Art Basel, Miami, USA
  • Contemporary Focus, Palm Beach Show, Miami, USA
  • Portraits, Mimi Woolf, Catherine Parr and dog portrait

2021

  • Janet Rady Fine Art, Disturbing the Delicate, online sale
  • Commission for a pair of large scale Broken Sculptures for the Londoner Hotel, the Whitcomb’s Restaurant
  • Commission for the CEO of Argeville a perfume company in Grasse, for a very large-scale
  • sculpture of antique and contemporary perfumes bottles, Bel Air Fine Arts
  • Commission for a Heart with Vintage porcelain Roses for Dolce and Gabbana, London, UK
  • Commissioned for 11 Hearts and one large- scale stand-alone porcelain Heart for the Elysee Residence in Miami, USA

2019

  • The House of Raro, Group Show, London, UK
  • Bel Air Fine Art, St Tropez, Group Show, France
  • BFAMI, Sotheby’s, London, UK
  • Bel Air Fine Arts, Gstaad, Group Show, Switzerland
  • FFS Fair For Saatchi, BAFA Contemporary, London, UK
  • Markowicz Fine Art, Dallas, USA
  • Commission large scale wall sculpture for the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, USA

2018

  • Rodmarton Re-Imagined, Group Show, Curated by Charlotte Abrahams, Rodmarton Manor, Cirencester, UK
  • BAFA Contemporary, Solo Show, London, UK
  • Art Miami, Bel Air Fine Arts, Miami, USA
  • Art Beirut, Bel Air Fine Arts, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Bel Air Fine Art, Solo Show, St Tropez, France
  • Bel Air Fine Art Geneva, Solo Show, Staying Alive, Geneva,Switzerland
  • Art Elysees Paris, Bel Air Fine Arts, Paris, France
  • BAFA Contemporary London, Joint Solo Show with Carole Feuerman, London, UK
  • Bel Air Fine Arts Gstaad, Group Show, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

 

Open chat
Need Help?
Hello,
Can we help you?