Visiting George Aslanis in his home away from home was an experience I want to repeat with as many artists as I can in my lifetime. This was my second such experience. I travelled to Monash Uni, Caulfield Campus feeling like I was on a discovery tour, trying to find a workshop full of art in one of its many many forms an eye opener around each corner. And as I was leaving I remember distinctly I felt a sense of great fulfilment, a time well spent and adequately rewarded.
Polymorphous George is not only a professional in his art, but also a great communicator, a Greek you will not meet down Lonsdale Street, or in the Oakleigh Eaton Street Mall. He’s the type of professional who has really evolved in this country as an individual, beaten by social conditions and family misfortunes, however full of confidence in his abilities when it comes to expressionist art in glass.
But one can also see this through his and his student’s creations. That colourful full of light yet transparent material in most cases is a tease to the imagination and something that you do not get to admire very often.
As an Australian-born of Greek background, he has no hesitation in discussing racism in this country and its implications on the identity of the migrant population as a whole. He witnessed it, first hand, in the eyes of his brother Con and mother and to a lesser degree his father.
As I sat in the chair of an office overlooking the student workshops periphery as it was surrounded by windows, I felt I was talking to an old friend of mine with whom we had so much to talk about old times and share long gone experiences. His tone, although critical of what Australia is today was not derogatory in the sense that it made one feel helpless in the discussion, but it was more an exchange of ideas that I couldn’t but agree on. All the time we spent talking about the Australian society past and present we had so much in common that it was beyond comprehension for two men who never met each other in the past.
As I snapped at some of his student’s works I could not help but see little Georges everywhere. Yet it was a great relief to walk away from the crime scene because when surrounded by so many ideas which are being forced into one’s head in a small period of time, I find extremely tiring.
George’s practice involves a dialogue that describes ‘state of being’. Symbol and metaphor are important motifs in his work. Drawing from cultures past and present he combines various elements to create visually complex cast glass sculptures.
These objects are read from two sides, a sculpted textured surface and an open view into the interior space of the glass. The question of what exists beneath the surface, the interior life often unseen is a constant aspect of George Aslanis’ work.
But George impresses you a great deal more than that. His visually complex work has two sides as he points out; one that is real sculpture like and the other a flat surface which actually measures the dimensions and shows the intricacies of glass as it keeps control of the ideas and feelings. Another thing you notice is the eyes and wings of the sculptures. They always stare at you and constantly asking you to fly with them to another place and space where imagination has rid the limits of what is sublime and made it attainable.
To recommend such high quality artistic creations is not doing justice to either the artist or the object. Justice can only be achieved through seeing the three-dimensional object in front of you. Pictures can never give the thousand words that a three-dimensional figure can. So please visit the Kerri Gallery and ask for a brochure to take with you. You need a bit of time not only to think which glass piece fits your lounge better but which represents your imagination in a more respectful way.
Finally you get to read George’s literature and immediately what strikes you is that this man is also a writer. Why didn’t he pursue a path in writing? Well I will let him answer that himself but the way I see it, perhaps because he can be appreciated more with Visual Art and this is evident from speaking to him.
Diasporic is profoundly proud to feature George Aslanis as a mature professional artist of very high standard, and a Greek connotation evident in many of his master pieces. George has a real potential to reach beyond the limited confines of Australian audiences and be widely accepted by the demanding world of visual art.
George Aslanis is the coordinator of the glass and ceramic studios at the Faculty of Art and Design, Department of the Fine Arts, Monash University, Melbourne.
George’s sculptures combine modern shapes as they evolved through the ages from ancient times, rich in color whilst transparent. As these sculputures blend art with spiritual expression and nature through symbolism, defined by imagination using poetry and metaphoric vision they create a motif of vibrant light and thoughtful activity.
As he describes his sculptures, they can be identified from two sides. One that is the side which is displayed on windows to be appreciated and the opposite that details the inner perplexities of the glass and the message it brings into the world.
Here at Diasporic we’re very proud to have discovered George and his tremendous artistic talent.
Within the plenum of sea and sky, pleomorhpic elements crystalize and animate into polymorphous forms. These polymorphic forms convey an instance of metamorphosis where many forms are on eand the one simultaneously expresses multiplicity. Perception is more than vision because perception reveals the fullness of the specific and teh singularity of compund forms.