Over a year ago, Décor Fusion’s Ilia Chidzey and Damian Berrili were approached by micro biologist Bob with an unusual commission. We were given a single word: ‘Evolution’. Bob was keen to push us to our limits, so suggested we interpret that word in whichever way we saw fit. Bob wanted us to take 12 months to complete the project (a luxurious and indulgent time frame by anyone’s standards) and we let our creative minds flow.
Despite Bob’s scientific background, he is a creative polymath who appeared to enjoy exploring meaning and layers in unexpected contexts. We felt that given the time frame and the brief, a genuine evolution of technique, creativity and concept should occur. This meant we had an opportunity to push ourselves and experiment on many levels. We didn’t feel constrained by traditional terminology and felt that the term ‘evolution’ could be evocative of many concepts.
The plan was to play creative tag. We would pass the piece between each other so we could build upon the previous stage and use it as inspiration to fuel the next stage. Creative tag is something we really enjoy. Receiving the latest development is exciting, inspiring and raises the bar higher and the creativity becomes quite intense.
It all began with a humble ammonite fossil discovered in The Collectorium on Newcastle. Ammonites existed between 240 and 65 million years ago and it seemed only natural that such a find should be the genesis of our creative journey.
Damian made the first move – an intricate copper form that radiated from the ammonite core.
From this humble beginning, the evolution progressed.
Ilia ditched her bandsaw for a minute scroll saw and worked up aluminium forms that bubbled away from the copper. Mirror placed behind the aluminium to reflect the viewer’s image back to them.
Damian then pulled back from harsh metals and mirror and incorporated gracefully tortured timber with elements of fire.
Ilia then proceeded to get industrial with polished concrete and glass. Dichroic organisms crept through a concrete beach and became submerged in Damian’s resin ocean – a reversal of evolution from a scientific perspective. From natural elements such as timber, to concrete glass and resin – artificial, and yet somehow reminiscent of prehistoric oceans.
Eventually our 12 months drew to a close and we had to down tools and decide that the time had come to let go. While no evolution is ever complete, and ours certainly felt like it should and could continue for eternity, we sadly bid it farewell and handed it over to a very happy Bob!