“Things that we don't see, master or know about worry us.” Brussels-based Naomi Gilon's artistic practice took a sharp turn after she discovered ceramics. The gnarly results of this transformational run-in draw on car tuning, science fiction, monsters or pop culture.

It is more than obvious that your installations have narrative purpose. All these curved fingers, sharp nails, bony palms examining and touching objects of everyday use. Who are they? Whom do these long claws belong to? 

They’re the hands of demons that pull us down. The evil entity that grips us and onto which we transfer all the faults. The monster hiding under our bed. The uncontrollable chimera of our era.

As you mentioned in an article for Coeval magazine, you have been finding inspiration in car tuning, tattoos, science fiction, mythology, and horror movies. Is there a reason that your work makes a disturbing impression?

As with the science fiction genre, I try to put societal fears and desires into narratives, words, and images. So, yes, when we question our own (human) nature, it always puts us in an awkward situation. Things that we don’t see, master or know about worry us. It’s this feeling of the unknown that I find in the principle of hybridization. Something new, emerging from the questions of an era.


Why do you draw inspiration from themes that lead to object hybridization?

My reflections are inspired by popular culture in perpetual mutation, and I create anthropomorphic works proposing a new frontier to reality. For me, the term hybrid also symbolizes the aspect of good and evil. For example, my ceramic bags are inspired by the character of Janus, a Roman god. They have two faces; one looking at the past, the other at the future, one inwards, the other outwards.


What kind of experience do you want to deliver to your audience?

Through my work, I hope to enable people to learn how to cohabit with their demons. Accept differences and go beyond the outward appearance of things. Nothing is simple and banal.


You also transform and distort objects of everyday use representing pop culture, such as sneakers, mini handbags, high heels. Is it a kind of criticism or do you want to raise their banal meaning? 

It’s the banal aspect of the objects that interests me. I like to trace their history in order to extract the characteristics of their birth. For me, one of the tenets of art is to promote the subjective side of things. With my works, I offer an interpretation but I do not criticize.

Every everyday object represents a response to something. Today, everything is given to us, there is no longer a sentimental dialogue between us and the objects, they’re no longer immutable.

I question this consumer society, which makes us forget the meaning and the values of things. My creations are “unique and precious banalities”. This is certainly why I appreciate the fragility of ceramics and glass. This creates a very interesting dialogue between my subjects and the material, between the monsters and delicacy.


You have been using ceramics as the main expressive medium. What do you like about this material? You have also mentioned glass – is it allowing you to go places ceramics don’t?

I’m currently thinking about the design of works linking ceramics and glass elements. I like the translucent rendering of glass, which brings visual lightness. I’ll start by experimenting with recycling glass objects and working them directly into my ceramic pieces but I admit that I still have to do some testing.


BIO / Naomi Gilon is a Belgian artist (1996), currently living and working in Brussels. In 2018, she graduated from the Painting department at ENSAV La Cambre, Brussels, Belgium. Since circa 2018, Gilon has been gravitating towards and working with ceramic objects, which she designs, crafts, glazes and fires herself.



Artworks / Naomi Gilon @naomigilon

Interview / Agáta Zapotilová

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