Sea food scraps make striking art


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Sculptural and installation pieces made from the discarded remains of seafood are amongst the innovative and surprisingly beautiful work of Brighton based artist Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva.

They are the culmination of her residency as "artist in restaurant" at the two Michelin-starred Pied à Terre in London.

Ten pieces of work displayed throughout the restaurant make up "The Wish of the Witness" in which the artist aims to carefully balance beauty and brutality by recomposing decomposition into beautiful forms.

Elpida also hopes to show the potential connections between food, recycling and art while challenging our preconceived ideas about what art is and how it can be created.

Seemingly unlikely raw materials sourced from the restaurants' kitchens such scallop skirts and corals (mantle and roe), skate cartilage and monkfish skins have been meticulously processed, cleaned, and preserved using Elpida's own chemical solutions, giving these kitchen discards new life as striking art works.

A series of three cloud-like pieces entitled "Skirts up please" are suspended from the restaurant ceiling by fishing line and studded by gold covered fishing weights. Made from discarded scallop skirts the fragile forms are back lit by ceiling lights making them look like the more organic cousins of the famous Art Nouveau Tiffany lamps.

Larger scale wall pieces include a series of square zinc tiles decorated with preserved scallop corals called "Take What is Left" and a 3m long assemblage of monkfish skins entitled "Land" which seems to writhe with movement from the long dead fishes' tails.

A final fish related piece is "Gill Slits", a beautiful construction of skate wing cartilage held together with metal clips inside a perspex box which at a distance looks like a gigantic dried flower but on closer inspection echos the graceful movements of the fish from which it's made.

The exhibition continues at the Pied à Terre, 34 Charlotte Street, London until October 31 and is open to non-dining visitors from 3-6pm daily.

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