Encoded Symbols

Carwan Gallery, Athens, 2021

Carwan Gallery presents Protoplasting Nature, a new lighting collection by Polish artist and designer Marcin Rusak. Inspired by the beauty and impermanence of plants, these unique sculptural objects combine metal and botanical elements, in an exploration of timelessness and transformation. The show is taking place at the gallery in Athens from January 21st until May 29th 2021. Marcin Rusak is known for his innovative work with plants and the way he uses them to create thought-provoking design objects. Born in a family of floriculturists, Rusak has developed an artistic practice that is oriented around the ideas of ephemerality, decay, preservation and consumption. In his singular work, he uses science (such as industrial manufacturing or biology) in combination with the fragile beauty of plants and flowers to achieve a poetic result. 

In Protoplasting Nature, Rusak combines metal and exotic leaves to make opposing processes — life and death, renewal and decay — evident. A load-bearing structure, formed by hand using welded steel, evokes organic shapes and ornate 17th-century furnishings. In place of a lampshade, Rusak attaches real leaves from the exotic plant Thaumatococcus Daniellii, a rhizomatic herb widely cultivated in central Africa for its exceptionally sweet fruit and useful leaves. The entire sculpture is then coated in zinc using thermo coating process, thus permanently encasing the leaves within a thin metal shell.