Search Blocks | Dasha Bolkhovitina

In her series of sculptures “Search blocks”, Dasha places various materials inside glass and examines them through the thickness of the material. In these objects, one can see the bark of a tree, fabric, glass stones and parts of branches. Dasha explores the nature of volume in its pristine state, in both gypsum form and placed in a glass mass. The subject of study is the philosophy of free and enclosed volume; the degree of its cohesion and pervasiveness and how much it manages to take on new life in a single object or maintain its autonomy despite the proximity of one form. The artist admits to a few theories. Objects made from different materials and comprise different images. Penetrating into the thickness of the glass, these images get stuck in unexpected positions and places: one to the side, the other on top, the third passing through the entirety. Thoughts and memories also originate and sink in our heads, somewhere in the depths of consciousness or on the contrary, in our immediate field of vision. While some thoughts and things have a large amount of heaviness and require greater concentration, others are almost invisible and do not cause discomfort. The sculptor Dasha Bolkhovitina works with the Kiln-glass casting technique, also known as slumping. Fire-resistant forms are used for the process, inside of which the initial material, erklez (lump glass), is poured. The glass mass is placed into a kiln heated up to 600-900 °C. After the mass remains in the kiln, where it slowly cools to room temperature over several days. In the next stage, the edges of the sculpture are polished until they reach a state of transparency or mate appearance on the surface. Whilst working with glass, it is necessary for the artist to establish a connection with the material, during which the material itself suggests the movement of the life within, but the artist is still able to control it. Each of Dasha Bolkhovitina’s individual objects or series combine the power of nature and this philosophy.