Artist Sasha Sykes (Irish, b. 1976) was initially trained as an architect but is best known for creating beautiful acrylic and hand-cast resin furniture with found organic materials embedded inside. Sykes previously lived and worked in New York and London before returning to her native Ireland and settling into her family’s country home.
All of her works are custom made and filled with foraged organic materials from either the countryside or sea. As Sasha explained to the Financial Times she likes ““to explore the cycle of life and decay and the dichotomy of fragility and preservation.”
Sykes reflected that while living in New York City and London she was less aware of the changing of seasons. Once she returned to the Irish countryside her sense of “time-telling” by the changing of seasons returned.
Sykes had a very busy 2018. Most recently Sykes exhibited a stunning room divider Gyre (Ophelia) at PAD London in October which she explained to Wallpaper Magazine was inspired by Eileen Gray. Before that she was featured at the Venice Biennale of Architecture where Bloom! was on view as well as an installation at the National Museum of Ireland.
Influenced by the vast beauty of the Irish landscape, Sykes collects materials such as flowers, mosses, seaweeds, or lichens, year-round and dries them in her studio. Depending on her current projects and inspirations, Sykes will layout the materials or create a maquette to visualize and document her work.
Sykes and her studio team scoured the Atlantic coastline after Hurricane Ophelia and collected seaweed over a period of 18 months. Sykes was determined to allow the seaweed’s natural form and beauty guide her process and not over-manipulate the materials.
The red seaweed throughout Gyre (Ophelia) is particularly interesting because it typically inhabits the great depths of the ocean. Once dried this delicate seaweed is jewel colored and appears more orange and pink rather than its natural scarlet. Completed, the sanded and polished resin allows light to pass through the work and intensify the colors and textures of the materials allowing the furniture to become sculptural.
In addition to the prestigious international exhibits Sykes has been a part of in 2018 alone, her works are also held in private and public collections. Her work can be found in the National Museum of Ireland, Bank of America, and five star luxury resorts.
With such unique talents, we look forward to seeing what Sykes creates next!