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Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Gayi Soori

Gayi Soori is a London based visual artist working in ceramics & glass, moving image, and print. Previously a dentist, Gayi employs her scientific background and rigorous research to inform and complement her creative process. She completed a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at City Lit followed by a BA in Ceramic Design at Central Saint Martins, graduating with distinction in 2020. She went on to continue her material explorations at the Royal College of Art, supported in her second year of study by a Grocers’ Bursary Scholarship. Gayi was a shortlisted finalist for the 2021 Ingram Prize for contemporary artists.

Gayi intends to sustain her investigative practice by engaging in collaborations with museums, galleries and research institutions, while extending her artistic growth through residencies.

My current work draws upon an enduring fascination with the immune system. I wanted to capture the wonder and strangeness of the hidden alien worlds that live within us. My Sentry series is inspired by white blood cells engulfing and dissolving invading microbes. I allude to this dissolution process using a technique of sandblasting through forms made from layers of stained porcelain, which are enveloped within larger ceramic structures.

A recent development in my practice has been working in blown glass. Using a similar technique of layering colours and sandblasting through, I have produced a series called Lysis, which references the disruption of a cell membrane resulting in cellular collapse and destruction.

I revel in the versatility of clay and glass, the myriad forms, finishes and techniques that may be applied to these humble materials. I aim to continue working experimentally with materials, as there is undoubtedly a thrill when the viewer is both beguiled by a sculpture, yet unsure of the medium.

Surya (detail)Photos Sylvain Deleu

'Surya' is a reference to my father's name and the Hindu solar deity.

The installation of two pairs of 'Surya' alludes to cell division by mitosis. One cell becomes two. Pulling apart to opposite poles. A family divides, on and on and on.

The work speaks to the sense of dislocation that may be felt of being part of a diasporic family.

Medium:

Glazed porcelain with stains

Size:

22 x 22 x 8cm
Sentry Haemolyticus & Sentry Epidermidis (pink)2022, glazed stoneware with coloured porcelain inclusions, 33 x 31 x 26cm & 30 x 26 x 28cm Photo Sylvain Deleu
Sentry Simulans2022, Glazed stoneware with coloured porcelain inclusions, 19 x 23 x 35cm Photo Sylvain Deleu
Sentry Saprophyticus2022, glazed stoneware with porcelain inclusions Photo Sylvain Deleu
Sentry Saprophyticus2022, glazed stoneware with porcelain inclusions Photo Sylvain Deleu
Sentry Aureas 2022, glazed stoneware with porcelain inclusions
Sentry Aureas 2022, glazed stoneware with porcelain inclusions

A Sentry stands guard against foreign invaders.

My Sentry series was inspired by white blood cells that engulf and ingest invading microbes through a process called phagocytosis. The work is a playful exploration of these essential immune functions.

These cellular forms could be alien creatures from outer space. I enjoy the concordance that could exist between looking down a microscope to examine an inner world in miniature, and then gazing through a telescope to see distant celestial bodies.

These sculptures are fabricated combining two different types of clay and ceramic techniques. The brightly coloured 'foreign bodies' are cast with layers of coloured porcelain and then sandblasted while the main structure is built by hand in stoneware with a textural glaze on the surface.

Each work is named for a type of bacteria from the Staphylococcus genus.

Medium:

Stoneware ceramic with parian porcelain inclusions
Sentry MRSA no1 & no22022, glazed stoneware Photo Sylvain Deleu
Sentry MRSA no22022, glazed stoneware,
Sentry MRSA no12022, glazed stoneware

Sentry MRSA examines drug resistant bacteria sometimes referred to as a superbugs. I was intrigued to learn that some strains of MRSA secrete toxins that destroy white blood cells.

Lysis collectionPhotos Sylvain Deleu
Lysis no 82022, blown glass
Lysis no 92022, blown glass
Lysis no 62022, blown glass
Lysis no 72022, blown glass
Lysis no 42022, blown glass
Lysis no 1 2022, blown glass
Lysis no 52022, blown glass

Lysis refers to the disruption of a cell membrane leading to cellular collapse and disintegration.

I aim to unite concept and process. Each piece is fabricated in a multi-stage method, first with the forms being hand-blown with three layers of contrasting coloured glass. Later they are cold-worked, sandblasting through the layers to create the irregular colour patterns. Followed by fire-polishing, where the piece is heated again and if desired further blown and distorted.


Medium:

Hand blown glass

Size:

Various sizes

The Worshipful Company of Grocers