Rebuilding after Devastation: Sandra Shashou’s “Broken”

London-based Brazilian artist Sandra Shashou has come up with a fascinating series called “Broken” that is all about the act of “rebuilding after devastation”. The sculptures are made up of smashed fragments of vintage fine bone china tea sets, Russian Lomonosov porcelain, Spanish Lladro and Nao ballerina figurines and German bisque Kaiser nudes, dating back to the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Used and damaged objects are arranged in different formations, given a new identity. The works speak of the human spirit to recover—and ingeniously so—from adversity.

Sandra, who finds inspiration in the Japanese art of kintsugi, explains: “‘Broken’ is about major transformation and the fragility of life. It references bravery, courage and our ability to take on challenges. Something really beautiful can sadly end and then morph into something unimaginable and even more extraordinary.”

Sandra Shashou

The artist believes her fragments unfold like Jackson Pollock’s all-over paintings—only shattered, not splattered. She adds: “In my work, these familiar porcelain objects – teapots, cups and saucers – have been reinvented. I turn comfortable forms into uncomfortable forms. As a medium and as a metaphor, the finest antique tea sets have great resonance. They are central to a feeling of comfort and safety, of drinking tea with loved ones. I use precision saws, pliers and hammers to break them into dangerous shards, creating complex collages that are colourful, sensual and alluring. Breakage and fractures are part of the chance and fate of human life, part of our personal history. I embrace vulnerability and fragility. In truth that is how we reveal ourselves and really connect.”

Sandra graduated from City and Guilds London Art School of Fine Art with a Bachelor of Honors degree in Fine Art Painting in 2005. She also studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and Kensington and Chelsea for a Higher National Certificate in painting. In recent years, her work has been exhibited internationally, at Art Miami, Art Southampton NY, Armoury Antiques NY, Art15 Olympia London, Sothebys, Christies and Phillips.

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Images used with permission.


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