Sirin | Alconost | Ambivalent and very russian design series byfābula x Ana Tikhomirova

ANA is a story about an interior sculpture that dreamt of becoming a bookshelf; about a coffee table that aspired to rise above its utilitarian nature. It’s a story about objects that belong to two worlds at once: one is the world of “pure” art and the other — of practical aesthetics.

I have always had a keen interest in materiality and materials — especially ceramics — and all the forms that they can take. My process began with designing large scale residential and public buildings. Buildings were designed but did not provide an emotional payoff. Working on The interiors turned out to be something that I found more pleasure in doing. And when the opportunity to design furniture presented itself, I realized that this is something that I always wanted to do.

The architect Anastasia Tikhomirova

Experiments with the form followed, and the form sometimes insisted on completely neglecting the function and becoming a sculpture. But in order to realize the author’s ambitions, a sculpture alone was simply not enough: Anastasia wanted the thing to be able to serve its owner, to become an integral part of his home environment, to be handy, useful and beautiful.

The collection has two faces, reflecting basic conditions of the Russian soul: lightheartedness and joy are shaded by melancholy and thoughtfulness. And here intervention in the territory of art frees objects from the radiant optimism that is obligatory for commercial design and allows us to turn to the Russian sense longing and yearning as a source of inspiration.

It was possible to reconcile the form and function through working at the intersection of two disciplines — art and design: the whatnot became an object of art, and a practical function was instilled in an interior sculpture.

The first ANA’s collection represents a long-standing love of ceramics and dwells on the ruminations about the nature of Russian aesthetics. Glazed ceramic cylinders are molded manually and hand-painted using a traditional (pre-Petrine) tile colour palette. The method of assembly — stringing — is also a reference to vernacular technologies.