London-based ceramicist and maker Melina Xenaki experiments with materials and techniques, and aims to share her love for the elegance of classical antiquity by drawing inspiration from her Greek Origins. Ovid’s magnum opus “Metamorphoses” borrows the myth of the 'Ages of Man' (the stages of human existence on the Earth) from Hesiod’s Works and Days, in which the degradation of the human condition over time is indicated symbolically by metals of successively decreasing value. The Golden Age was a place and time when, because nature and reason were harmoniously aligned, men were naturally good. In the present Iron age, humans are warlike, greedy and impious, brother fights with brother and the social contract between guest and host– the important sense of Xenia is forgotten. Today, hospitality, generosity, and courtesy are ideals, golden glimpses, of a generation that still values the good and noble. In her work for this exhibition, Melina's poetic excitation on functional ceramic ware sets the ground for a big gathering around food and drink, creating a safe space in which there is always room on the table for everyone. Her collection is named after the virgin goddess of innocence and purity, a symbol of justice, Astraea, who according to legend will one day come back to Earth, bringing with her the return of the utopian Golden Age.
Designer: Melina Xenaki