Herbal Tea Labo

Olha invites the audience to participate in her drinkable sculpture to both take it in as an object of contemplation and consumption. The audience are welcome to taste the fermented drinks displayed in the installation. The fermented drinks – kvass, kefir and amazake – are all ancient low-alcohol recipes, kvass being first recorded in the Kyiv Rus Chronicles. Fermentation, as well as dried herbs serve as a metaphor for transformation, death and rebirth. As bacteria breaks down the plant ingredients into easily digestible nutrients, it is transferring energy to their next consumer in the food chain.

The miniature dioramas that comprise the sculpture along with the drinks are populated with anthropomorphic figures. The Jomon dogu-like imagery brings to mind the idealised hunter-gatherer society in equilibrium with nature. The uncanny landscape where normally delicate dried herbs menacingly tower over the clay figurines bring to mind the role of humans in their environment.

This sculptural installation represents the negotiation between natural and man-made.

The artwork offers the audience a frame for participation and transformation as they insert themselves into nature’s greater metabolic system.

-AIRY 2019