Now lets take a stroll and inspect some of the art George’s students create in the Monash University workshop, where they exhibit it and how they feel about this art work (You can view the larger image if you press on the thumbnails).
Here we have a photo of the showroom as it was on the day of my visit (30th November 2009). In the photo only student’s works are showing. George is discussing with one of the students on the left of the photo. As George describes his student “…she’s of Russian-Jewish background, born in Melbourne, Australia. Her work is projected onto glass through a glass. When she went back to Moscow for the first time, she went to the house where her mother was born under communism and fled. So her work is like talking about her identity, which is a common issue amongst the Jewish people”.
As we moved from one sculpture to another within the showroom, suddenly I felt so helpless in a way in view of the fact that this was my first time in such tremendous glass sculpture surroundings and could not find the right questions. However George obliged: “Oh Mr Kee…” he uttered. “Come here… would you explain to Iakovos (Jack) your work? He’s involved in the arts and a great many other things…”. The phrase “a great many other things” was really sothing that grounded me as a person. Suddenly I am finding myself in arts and through George’s words.
(you can listen to Brent’s -the student- description below, of his work showing on the right here).
As the Arts Department of Monash’s Caulfield Campus is spread over different rooms in a number of buildings we had to walk around to get to each place where student’s works are kept.
Next we saw the work of a student who uses bones from dead animals taken from her parent’s farm and encapsulates them in glass as George Aslanis explains (play the audio file below).
This is really something to see, as it gives you that extraordinary feeling of death encapsulated in glass to serve as a reminder to all mortals that whether one feels hatred and revenge or love and understanding, they can only go as far as bones decorating an artist’s creation.
Well “these are not people’s bones” you may correctly say, here but what is the real difference when we’re talking thousands of years?
Next we saw the impressive work of a PhD student and it was an eye opener. Here we have multi-layered glass components forming the three pictures in their frames shown. However, as I keep snapping all of this amazing work, please use the audio file here where George explains better than I could ever do (please excuse the background noise of the audio)
Despite all the talent and precision in application there are mishaps with castings, especially with students. But all the things that are supposed to add up in the bin they’re recycled and used by George’s “bricks to use in his castings”. I keep snapping and George keeps talking, so again please read his exact words in the audio file below.
Then it was time to move across the main workshop area and meet another student of George’s, Ruth. Ruth has exhibited at Kerri Galleries, Federation Square and her work was equally amazing. You can hear Ruth with that professional tone which is characteristic of a talented individual confident about their creation. She has completed a Master’s Degree and is answering my question whether she’s enjoying it. It all seemed to flow along with the usual serious humor that is a characteristic of my personal admiration.
But all considered my gain in the end was everyone’s gain who visited Diasporic to read these pages.