Ceramic and steel
H. 24 x w. 14.5 x d. 11.5 cm
About Nina Gerada
Nina Gerada was raised in a land of limestone, dust and roots. At the onset of adulthood she moved to a country of humus and clay. From an early age she had a rigorous and traditional technical training, but for all her artistic life she has been drawn to pattern finding and collage. Ceramic lends itself to neither.
Gerada’s work remembers archeological digs, maps, empty swimming, the female form, bricks, blueprints, typesetting blocks, the home, the temple. Her process begins by carving and tearing the clay, exposing fault lines, adding insertions. These broad actions are combined with bold but intricately tooled forms that skirt close to figurative imaginings of the megalithic temples of her homeland.
Still unfired, Gerada slices her tightly evocative sculptures into smaller sections. The pieces are contemplatively recomposed, searching for patterns and connections across multiple scales. Spaces are uncovered, providing at once protection and a means of escape. Courtyards, rooms and tombs appear as reflections of women’s bodies, wombs, breasts and vulvas. Totemic symbols intertwining notions of women as life giving vessels, of mothering and the psychological theories of containment, the impulse to be embedded in the rock, and a yearning for community and connectedness.
Firing clay exacts irreversible molecular change - ceramics are the imposition of human agency on geological time. Honouring this; Gerada’s recent work is often intentionally cracked in the kiln, reminding us of weathered buildings and ageing skin. This stochastic movement makes connections between timescales: The artist and her life story. Her audience and its prehistory.
Nina Gerada is a Maltese artist, designer and teacher. She is a graduate of London Metropolitan University (2011), The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (2006), Chelsea College of Art (2003) and is a Higher Education Teaching Fellow (2018).
Her sculptures merge figurative and architectural motifs, exploring the interconnectedness between buildings, communities and people. References to the Neolithic statues, temples and artefacts of Malta appear in her work, exploring the female, immigrant and post-colonial experience. Her training in architecture and urban design are evident in the vast scales and spatial preoccupation of her work.
This is Gerada’s second year at Collect having exhibited with Thrown Contemporary in 2022. Amongst other exhibitions, Gerada has exhibited at London Craft Week (2021) and as part of The Daphne Festival (2022) commemorating the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. She has collaborated with The Bbook Project and exhibited at ‘Let’s Talk Breast’. Gerada is a member of Spilt Milk Gallery a collective of artist mothers and has participated in ‘Maternochronics’ (2021) and ‘Cartography of Care’ (2022) both exploring themes of parenting and care through art.
Her ‘Nollini’ sculptures were featured in Wired Magazine (2021). In her work as a Production Designer on the feature film ‘Simshar’, Gerada won the Best Production Design Award at the Bridges International Film Festival (2014). She is currently collaborating with Caz Hildebrand and a brick works to develop large public sculptures.
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