Jaroslav Hrustalenko | Creativity driven by the passion for colour, shape and strong visual impression.

Jaroslav Hrustalenko
Jaroslav Hrustalenko is the second maker taking part in our January bi-monthly display. He was accepted as a Selected Member of the Craft Potters Association last November and this is the first showing of his work at Contemporary Ceramics.

Jaroslav Hrustalenko

"Jaroslav Hrustalenko is an internationally renowned artist based in the UK. He has been engaged in creative practice and 3D design professionally since 1989.

A Ukrainian descendant of multi-ethnic ancestors, Jaroslav grew up in a multi-lingual environment saturated with culture, surrounded by art, music, literature and science. His creativity is driven by the passion for colour, shape and strong visual impression.

The artist constantly searches for new creative ideas and sources of inspiration, which may come from almost anything (but ceramics). He frequently turns to nature, which in his opinion is the greatest teaching resource. He goes for long walks along the countryside to admire the rhythmic patterns of the rich landscape diversity, dissolve in space and time listening to the birds, and to study the impact of time on the pebbles and weathered boulders protruding from the half-dry river bed. His inquisitive eye examines the variety of geological formations, trying to reconstruct (in raw clay) the actual processes that shaped them. This enables him to develop a totally new set of expressive means, virtually non-existent before. So called “organic geometry” and “controlled chaos” became the key features to his body of work of this period (1998-2006).

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Images 1, 2 and 3.
© J. Hrustalenko, Geological Formation Studies, 2003-2006

In the evenings he engages in a variety of musical and theatrical troupes, church choir or just plays guitar with his friends. Concentrating on an expressive element like the tone range, scale type, rhythmic measure or unusual chord progressions, Jaroslav finds straight forward similarities with corresponding elements in fine art, which fascinates him.

All of this mixed experience simultaneously influences Jaroslav’s comprehending and interpretation of composition and harmony in almost any form of human activity - like fine art, dance choreography, culinary art, oriental massage, vehicle design, perfume making, etc. A major shift in his understanding of this matter happens during an (initially not very exciting) commission for the brewery concern of La┼íko d.d. (Slovenia), requiring him to develop and make from scratch 1035 pieces of commemorative ‘Millennium 2000’ beer mugs as business Protocol Gifts – in just 2 months, entirely by hand. Having locked himself up in the studio, Jaroslav could see nothing but grey clay, grey walls, grey floor, and the grey army of tankards being finished for the bisque firing. So once, during his university trip to the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, Jaroslav unexpectedly finds himself in front of the ‘View of Arles’ by Van Gogh, and suddenly experiences a “colour explosion” of his own. This new unexpected angle that opens up to him, after the months of seeing nothing but shades of grey in his workshop, leads him to a brand new series of experiments with the colour wheel by shading out certain sequences of hue, following the principles and logic of harmonies in music rather than that in fine art, constantly assessing the outcomes against the existing examples in impressionism, expressionism and abstract art as well as in product design.
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© J. Hrustalenko, Colour Harmony Studies, 1999 – present.

Extensively implementing his own developments on colour harmony and modular design, Jaroslav completes (alongside his full-time studies from 1999-2004) numerous other commissions for various major international clients, such as Gorenje (bespoke ceramic tiles), Novem d.o.o. (individualised car interior designs) and several Protocol Gift clients.

This absolutely vast experience leads Jaroslav to a principle change in his interpretation of industrial product design and understanding its aesthetical aspects as well as the structural features of the three-dimensional body, its appearance in space and the subjective aspect of its perception. Jaroslav becomes literally obsessed with modular approach to designing artistic pottery vessels and bespoke geometry ceramic tiles as a vehicle or method for generating new shapes unseen and unthought-of before.

In 2006 Jaroslav enters an even more exciting period of creativity as he enrols at UCA in Farnham to take his MA course in 3D design. Here he meets Ashley Howard, Magdalene Odundo and (now very sadly late) Emmanuel Cooper, thanks to whose joint influence Jaroslav, in his pursuit of perfection, gradually arrives at his genuinely individual and distinctive style, remaining true to his original ideas and aspirations.

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© J. Hrustalenko,
Tango Dancers, 2007
Work in progress, height 27-31 cm.

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© J. Hrustalenko,
Tango Dancers, 2007
Crystalline glazed porcelain, height 31 cm.
As before, he constantly explores the natural world, fine art, science, music and dance, building his body of work on a broad multicultural background. Creating his “gendered” biomorphic and geometrically stylised intricate shape vessels, the artist still does not require any advanced equipment in his studio. He much prefers to rely on his own hands and the most basic tools he usually designs himself.

Jaroslav Hrustalenko holds qualifications of Master of Art in 3D design (since 2007) as well as Professor of Fine Art (2005). From November 2019 he is also a selected member of the Craft Potters Association (CPA).

Jaroslav has exhibited widely both in group and solo shows in the UK and abroad. He is a qualified tutor and the author of several publications. His artworks are kept in numerous private collections worldwide." Jaroslav Hrustalenko 2020

More information about Contemporary Ceramics can be found https://www.contemporaryceramics.uk/


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