Frieze Sculpture, London 2021
The image: Untitled, (Module 1 & 2) 2019, cut and thermo-welded plastic bottles, Frieze Sculpture 2021, Regenst Park, London. Photo by Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.
Tatiana Wolska transforms recyled plastic bottles into sprawling biomorphic forms. Placed within natural urban environment, they highlight our wasteful consumption patterns that contribute to environmental catastrophe.
Spanning two of London’s annual public art events, Sculpture in the City and Frieze Sculpture, Wolska’s Untitled, (Module 1 & 2 (2019) and Module 3 & 4’ (2021)), share a common genesis in 2015, when the artist embarked on an intensive 3-month-long production period. After cutting up some 5,000 discarded plastic water bottles into small pieces, Wolska used soldering irons that heat to around 500C° to melt the edges of each fragment and join it to the next by pressing together the molten seam, building up a patchwork that eventually grew to a 25-metre long sculptural installation first exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo art centre in Paris. That monumental work has now been reconfigured into the smaller components installed around London, which continue to produce in the viewer a distinctive complex of sensations both ethereal and visceral. With their blood-red hue, these organic jewel-like bubbles seem to pulse with life, like the sutured skin of an invisible creature. Guided by the physical properties of her materials — in this case morsels of plastic that retain a residual curve from their former life as bottles —Wolska builds up her sculptures gradually and intuitively. The repetition of fragments of red bottles is an evidence of the endless supply of waste products, while the compulsively additive production process promises the potential for infinite self-reproduction. Thanks to their countless perforations these porous membranes constitute a family of respiratory systems that invite air and the eye to flow across, around and through them to reach the world beyond ~ Extract from an essay by Ellen Mara De Wachter.