Exhibition Visit – Nottingham Oct’16

Nottingham – Djanogly Gallery

Making Beauty, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva







Websites (info and images) accessed on 28th and 29th October 2016.


Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Hadzi-Vasileva is a site-specific installation artist working across the varied media of sculpture, installation, video and sound, photography and architectural interventions. Her materials range from the unusual to the ordinary, from the ephemeral to the precious; they include organic materials, foodstuffs and precious metals.

Making Beauty is a new body of work made in collaboration with academics in medical departments of the universities of Nottingham, East Anglia and London, introducing highly regarded medical research activity to a wider public. Her work has been informed by their work on nutrition, healthy diet, our gut, and the development of highly specialised – invisible to the eye – manufactured parts providing solutions to medical problems. The sculptures reveal the fragility of our bodies and reflect the delicate nature of these medical components. The work has been supported by a research grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Making Beauty also includes the first UK showing of ‘Haruspex’ commissioned by the Vatican for the Venice Biennale, 2015, and her recent commission ‘Fragility’ for Fabrica Gallery, Brighton.  Exploring near-death experience, this installation appropriated the length, breadth and height of the deconsecrated church and will form the breath-taking entrance to her first major UK show at the Djanogly Gallery.


Fragility 2016 (installation at Nottingham Djanogly Gallery)


Haruspex  2015 (installation at Pavilion of Holy See.  56th International Biennale di Venetzia)


In the religion of Ancient Rome, a haruspex (plural haruspices; also called aruspex) was a person trained to practice a form of divination called haruspicy (haruspicina) the inspection of the entrails

On gallery visits I tend to visit the painting or drawing elements, I am not sure if it was perverse curiosity that made visit this exhibition.  The installation is primarily constructed from the material of a cow’s stomach and in a few other instances for ‘other’ body parts.

One can help but be fascinated by the intricate lace type material that is the caul fat from a cow.  The artist has stretched and contrasted a labyrinth of hanging material with is like curtains of hanging lace but the smell of preservative and animal material leave you in doubt as to its origins!

This is certainly stretching mixed media to another level and provokes thought into what else can be used for art making.  Strange as it was I found it compelling and inspirational.  I often am dismissive of such art but in this case I was won over.   Rather than be inspired by nature she has embraced the material and used nature.


Beauty Exposed II 2016, Sheep’s stomach, lamb intestine and turned wood.


Ladies Purse 1


2 and Ladies Purse 4 (upper and lower images) :

Sheep testicle purse, with silk, antique frame and chain.


section from Haruspex, material cow’s caul.

Caul fat, also known as lace fat, mesentery, crépine or fat netting, is the thin membrane which surrounds the stomach internal organs of some animals


Haruspex, Cow’s stomach