Kira Freije’s work is formed slowly and intuitively. Predominantly working with metal, she employs techniques such as welding and cold forming when working in steel, while she casts with aluminium. Some sculptures also feature hand blown glass, filling voids in metal cages with bulging, amorphous shapes. Cohering bodies and language into the same space, Freije’s sculptures are best described as ‘poetic assemblages’.
In flew close / dust dust dust, 2021, the artist has cast good friend and collaborator Vanessa Onwuemezi, along with some of her own body parts, to form a combined portrait of both artist and friend. In place of cheekbones, circular metal plates act as shields or visors to protect the face, a fragmented cast of mouth and jaw sit atop a stainless-steel cage to form the torso, shoulders and legs, while sheets of aluminium form vambraces for the forearms. Possessing a tall and powerful stance, the figure encapsulates an idea of strength, both physically in its material form forged from metalwork, and metaphorically, implied through the aversion of the gaze and the self-contained, self-assured posture it expresses.
Where the figure itself embodies strength, the title offers a counterbalance: evoking the myth of Icarus, it perhaps alludes to the impermanence and vulnerability of human life on this earth. In the end, we all become dust.
- Artwork Details: 165 x 61 x 69cm
- Material description: Stainless steel, cast aluminium
- Credit line: © the artist. Image courtesy of the artist and The approach, London
- Theme: Figurative
- Accession number: ACC34/2021