Using multiple artistic media, including painting, photography, sculpture, installations and performance, Uriya’s work revolves around appropriating the aesthetics from the ancient nomadic traditions to comment on the contradictions the world is facing today. Consistent with the artist’s oeuvre juxtaposition of traditional materials like sheep wool and bones with cutting-edge representation is the artistic tool to blur the boundaries between art and craft and amplify the distinctive voice in the diversity of global art world.
After years of experimenting with different media, Uriya began with gaining the inspiration from the materials themselves and following what they suggested. A fervent advocate of natural materials, environmental sustainability and fair-trade, Uriya attempts to incorporate these into art by up-cycling used materials. The appeal of using recycled materials goes much deeper than an easing of social conscious. The materials being used often have an inherent history, which can offer a powerful starting point and make for a more meaningful process. It was the light bulb moment when she has discovered people throw away the woolcool fleece liners used as insulated packaging for direct delivery of chilled groceries. Felt, an ancient nomadic material has found the artist far away from home. The organic natural smell and feel have awakened primordial memories encoded in the artist’s DNA. Wool is one of nature’s most amazing ‘smart fibres’, with a complex structure and natural properties: it is very resistant, incredibly malleable and copes with extremes of cold and heat.
In most of the works the artist embraces the limitations of raw, locally sourced wool to experiment with forms and create large-scale installations. The inspiration comes from a personal response to social, cultural and political events that happen in the artist’s country and around the world. Although usually the concept comes first, she tends to avoid the work to be literal or obvious, abstracting the information, but rather let the ideas come of their own accord, forming its own voice.
Uriya’s metaphorical installations intend to immerse the viewer in both materiality and history. Her inventive techniques transport audiences across eras of wool history from when it was first used by nomadic tribes to survive to the medieval history of wool trading in England. The aim is to establish the fundamental relationship between the viewer and the work as it originates from material experience in all its manifestations. Ultimately the work proposes transcending cultural differences to ease the ever-growing tension in the world and embrace the wisdom of different people to contribute to the collective well-being.
Please, click on the image to learn more about each work.