An amazing exhibition at Fabrica the former church and now a space for art in the heart of Brighton, gives us Fragility. A new site-specific work commissioned by Fabrica from Macedonian born and now Brighton resident, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva.
One walks into the church to be greeted by sheets of rippling white tracery panels that fill the entire space. At one end there is a temple like structure made of sheets with intricate patterns. Children might be forgiven for thinking that the ice queen would soon be in residence! The light from the window gives a feeling of new life which is particularly odd when one understands that the whole structure in this world of art is made from caul fat, a membrane that is transformed from the waste products of the pig industry.
So something considered to be disgusting fills this space with breathtaking beauty. This gives rise to discussions about death and dying, something that our society tends to avoid.
As well as this exhibition (one of three on an associated theme) there are workshops and lectures. This following photos of ‘work in progress’ were linked with the theme fragilty. an run for members of the public by two established sculpters, Lauren and Joseph Schneider, using everyday waste products and natural materials. eg plastic bags, willow, string.
There was also a lecture as part of the ongoing programme, ‘The consciousness of finitude.’ This had Professor Raymond Tallis and Dr Paul Davies asking us to consider how the world around us might be different if we were able to accept our own finitude.
Raymond Tallis is one of the world’s most renowned polymaths and his new book ‘The Black Mirror’ is inspired by E.M Forster’s thought that ‘Death destroys a man but the idea of it saves him’. Paul Davies had a paper, hot off the press as it were, Three Ways of Lingering With Beauty examining the role art and the artist can play in our reflections on nature and time. Both gentlemen had interesting things to say. However they only had 20 minutes each, which was a short time to make their cases.
There was a Q and A session at the end, however due to lack of amplification it was quite difficult to follow. It was a surprise to some of us that Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva was also the audience as, sadly, she had not been included in the discussion panel which seemed to me to be a lost opportunity!
However in August there is a chance to hear her discuss her work in greater detail and it is certainly worth going to Fabrica to see this spectacular installation.
The exhibition is free, although they obviously welcome donations in the appropriate box near the door.