Posidònia is an incredibly immersive installation by London-based artist Patricia Mato-Mora that takes over the Pilar and Joan Miró Museum in Mallorca with hundreds of ceramic chains, painstakingly crafted to evoke the city of Palma’s maritime identity.
The chains are made from small ceramic components that inhabit the ceiling, floor and walls. Made out of red stoneware clay and fired in a gas kiln, this material treatment mimics the rust that the sea causes on any adjoining materials, particularly metals.
The space in which the installation is based has been interpreted as the subaquatic space of a dock. So visitors will find themselves submerged in the "ceramic choreography, walking on the seabed, where the anchors that secure the boats are resting".
Even better, the artwork is interactive – visitors are invited to tie a little nylon string to the ceramic sculptures. This is supposed to create a natural/manmade line of "tide", related to the height of the average visitor, and reminiscent of the line where barnacles stop growing on the chains that moor boats to the harbour. The "growth" of this hyper-sculpture, made of nylon strings, is completely unexpected, and cannot be controlled by the artist. In this way, the ceramic chains are the armature that allows the organic growth to take place.
Patricia has been interested in working with submarine growth patterns, such as those of barnacles, muscles and other sea creatures, since 2014. On this occasion, through the element of visitor interaction, she aims to lose control of the end result and understand how the visitor reacts to the piece, not different from how an aquatic creature might react to the chains with which boats are moored.
Patricia is an artist, designer and educator currently exploring the spatial, architectural and narrative capabilities of clay. Patricia is interested in the ability of spaces to act as vessels for storytelling and collective imagination. She studied architecture at the Architectural Association; and obtained her Masters at the Royal College of Art. She is an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.
Posidònia will be on show at the Pilar and Joan Miró Museum in Mallorca until 11 June 2017.
Main image: Prisca Laguna