Hestia Minaudière, 2010
Red lacquered wood and yellow gold clutch/box
h 13 x 20 cm
Unique and signed
Sophia Vari’s “portable sculptures”, as she likes to call them, first became part of the artist’s body of work 30 years ago; at a time in her life when demanding international schedule kept her constantly on the move. While travelling, she carried with her a small box of plasticine, from which she would mould miniature sculptures. “From that day on, I had a new creative challenge that gave me a lot of joy because I could see the pieces being worn,” she recalls. Vari approaches wearable art in precisely the same manner and strength as her abstract sculptures, collages and paintings. Her thorough exploration of bold geometric forms, the examination of volume, painterly curves and lines result in the composition both peaceful and elegant but also captures a harmonious theatrical tension.
“It is a real challenge for me, and it is very much like creating a sculpture, made to be worn. No doubt, the fact that I am a woman has its advantages. Firstly, because I can try it on me – and secondly the fact that I have greater sensitivity compared to a male artist – enables me to highlight the female trait to a greater degree”, says Vari.
Only the highest quality materials from marble to bronze are used in Vari’s large-scale work. Similarly, her wearable art, the pieces combine the most refined materials such as gold, silver, wood, ebony, leather, root emerald, rock crystal and sapphire among others. Each piece of jewellery is a part of a limited edition or is a unique work, incised with the artist’s signature “Vari” and numbered like her sculptural works.
Of her methods, she reveals: “It can take a week, a month or even more to realise a piece. I work until I know that I can’t take away or add anything more.”