Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova is re-purposing tiles in a way you have to see to believe. It started with second-hand tiles found in São Paulo in 2014 but she has since made use of tiles from Soviet-era buildings in her native Ukraine, decorated a mannequin with materials from Chernobyl, and most recently has used tiles from an old Venetian hotel to craft her masterpieces.
But this is not your average mosaic work. Kadyrova crafts these materials into clothing- t-shirts, shorts, jackets, dresses, and even socks and underwear. She collected the durable tiles from a range of sources, such as the Darnitski Silk Factory, Havana streets, and a Chernobyl bus station. They have been expertly formed and placed on hangers where they can be properly displayed.
The project, titled Second Hand, is ongoing. At the Venice Art Biennale this year tiles collected from Hotel All’Angelo have been re-purposed into a range of clothing items which hang on a clothesline across the canal. Kadyrova’s work is presented by Galleria Continua, which whom she also displays another unique take on tile use.
Market, which began in 2017 is an full-scale market stall with produce crafted entirely from ceramic tiles, cement, mirror and natural stone. The display features bright mosaic fruit, including bananas, watermelons, pomegranates and papayas, as well as vegetables and a whole raft of charcuterie.
These are ceramic tiles as you’ve never seen them before, and they are truly excellent.
Zhanna Kadyrova’s work is on show at the Venice Art Biennale in the Central Pavillion/Arsenale. The event runs from 11/05/2019 until 24/11/2019.