Nature of Things, 02
London, 2019
Unique piece

Marcin Rusak (born in 1987, Warsaw, Poland) is an artist and multidisciplinary designer interested in ideas of value, ephemerality and aesthetics. As the son and grandson of flower growers he has long been fascinated by these natural sources of inspiration and decoration.

Simultaneously concerned with our culture of consumption and waste, Marcin Rusak had the sense that there was a logic to employing actual natural material, in this case waste ground and dried flowers, as the source of aesthetics to make objects that have greater meaning.
Perishable pieces reflect on the consumerism culture, their ephemeral quality is achieved through the material they are made of flowers, salvaged from London’s flower market, with an organic matrix formed from shellac, beeswax and tree resins. Perishable Series features functional works including vases, urns and flasks, formally, and in their decoration, reminiscent of works from great civilizations past, but which in comparison to their historic predecessors deform in sunlight, are negatively affected by water and generally slowly fade and disintegrate over the years. The speed of deterioration is dependent on the ambient environment. Just like objects of everyday use, which are often designed with planned obsolescence (printers, phones, cars), these sculptures also have a limited lifespan dictated by the natural processes that over- take them.
Through temperature change and humidity objects started to transform and melt, blending into their natural environment. By highlighting the process of decay and making it equal to the process of transformation and creation, I wanted to recrea- te the experience where impermanence, change and chance are celebrated.
Marcin focused on acceleration of the decaying process and quality of decay. With that aim in mind, different ways of degradation have been tested. First and foremost, the use of organic bacterias found in yogurt, milk and bread. To optimize this experiment, perishable pieces were placed in a self build glass house- with stable temperature and high humidity. By soaking the pieces in water I re-enabled to obtain a large development of black, white and blue fungi after a few weeks of incubation. Installation conveys a respect and admiration for the natural world, allowing it to reveal its own ephemeral beauty. In this sense, I was seeking to explore creative methods that expand our awareness of materials’ origin and future.