Teapot, 'Magician', stoneware, made by Lana Tikvesa, Belgrade, Serbia, 2003
As noted by Biljana Vukovic, curator at the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade*, the development of contemporary studio ceramics in Serbia has been strongly influenced by changing political and economic conditions. Until the state of Yugoslavia was dissolved in 1992, Serbian visual arts reflected West European developments, and ceramics in particular were part of the global scene. For most of the 1990s Serbian art ' was forced backwards' and it was only after sanctions were lifted in 2000, that artistic freedom and international contacts were fully restored.
A graduate of the University of Arts in Belgrade (Ceramics & Sculpture, 1996), Lana Tikvasa (b.1971) belongs to the new generation of ceramic artists whose art flourished at the beginning of the new millennium bringing a range of new ideas and solutions recognised at local and international exhibitions. Tikvasa has exhibited widely since 1996 and has since received several awards including the 2002 Suzanne and Georges Ramie Award at Vallauris, France. She first showed 'Magician' at the 11th Triennale of Yugoslavian Ceramics in Belgrade in 2003 where she introduced the teapot as her theme and inspiration for sculptural ceramics. Tikvasa explains: 'Formally, these are still teapots, but they closely approach abstract sculptural forms inspired by the organic worlds, sea fauna, birds, human heart" * She creates her works using large pieces of torn or ripped clay still bearing traces of the work process, fractures and cracks between the fractures, with or without the help of a tool. 'Magician' was acquired by the Powerhouse Museum from the survey exhibition 'Serbian Contemporary Ceramics' curated by Biljana Vukovic and staged at the Ceramic Art Gallery in Sydney in 2005.
*Vukovic, B. 'New tendencies: Serbian ceramics', Ceramics Art and Perception, issue 58, 2004, pp 81-88
Included in the survey exhibition 'Serbian Contemporary Ceramics' curated by Biljana Vukovic and staged at the Ceramic Art Gallery in Sydney in 2005.