[ COVETED ] IN THE 'AETHER ELEMENT', AN INTERVIEW WITH INTERIOR DESIGNER AND ARTIST KRISTIN VICTORIA BARRON - FOUNDER OF KRIEST


 

K   R   I   E   S   T

 

On a subconscious level our energy is constantly at play and interacting with the world around us. Yet within the 'Aether Element,' or dream world, the relationship between matter and energy is more clearly experienced and realized; a state that allows us to experience in the purest form and a connection to our past, present and future can be found. This very personal and intimate state is the catalyst for Kristin Victoria Barron's works. Creation realized from a state of no limitations has resulted in the artful manifestation of Barron's journey,  one I have personally have found deeply moving. 

[ Sanam Miremadi ] Something that has been in the forefront of my mind in our current conversations is the fact the we often compromise design for function out of daily necessity. I really believe there is great value in marrying form and function in a manner that has the power to enhance space and experience. I'd love to explore this further with you as your work represents design that has transcended into sculpture, art. 

Being that your work is so sculptural, what is your personal approach to design and the relationship between form and function within your creative process? 

[ Kristin Victoria Barron ] My work comes from my dream imagery. I keep a dream journal next to my bed where I record all of my dreams. Certain dreams continue to posses a lot of gravity in my waking life and those are the ones that I begin to make work about. My creative process has to do with exploring how these dream images manifest through form and function. 

[ SM ] When thinking about your designs, how do you imagine them living in a space? How would you want them to be experienced?

[ KVB ] To be honest, when I am thinking about a piece it develops into it's own complete cosmos of sorts. I never begin by thinking of how they will live contextually. 

There is often something unspoken that draws you to a particular object or image, the specificity of the draw is unimportant. If I can make pieces that posses some shadow of this draw, then I consider them to be successful.

[ SM ] There is a depth to your work that really resonates within your creations and I feel can only be left behind by the maker. How do you personally experience your works, both in the process of creation and completion? 

[ KVB ] All of the works begin with dream images that I record in my journal and for the images that stay with me in my waking life, I begin to sketch about them and then make forms out of wax or clay. These forms are always repeated many times as a kind of physical meditation on the images, as a way of beginning to understand something inside of myself or about the world around me that I do not yet fully understand. It can be extremely challenging at times to hold space for this not knowing, and ultimately my creative process is entirely synonymous with making meaning of the unknown. When the work is completed, I enjoy the idea of this formed meaning being passed on to have a life in the space of others.

[ SM ] I've also found myself quite moved by the fervour and depth of your work. In a sense, your pieces feel timeless and culturally ambiguous. I read about and definitely appreciate the beautiful elements of Chinese, Lascaux and even Nepali Shaman cultural influences within your work. However, I think there is a play between subtlety and material driven design that lends itself to really resonating with, and allowing your pieces to, be experienced uniquely and personally. Its bizarre to say but I see my own Persian ancestry within your work; the history of my people, my grandfather's metal work, and my great uncle's paintings. A primeval response or connection is honestly how I would sum it up.

I believe a part of being able to evoke such a personal response through your work is a reflection of your own process in creating it. How intimate is this process for you? 

[ KVB ] I have always believed that all of the images we see throughout the course of our lives become us in the same way that the food that we eat becomes us. So that everything that we make in some way comes from this well of our cumulative visual and physical life experience. There is no way to abstract oneself from the intimacy of making process, it is by definition inherently personal. All of the visual and psychic nutrients that are consumed get manifested in the work we make, sometimes this is more apparent than others. Every thing made has a point of view, and this distinct point of view comes from an amalgamation of specific personal experiences and deeply universal human experiences. With dream imagery especially there is always a fluid mix of the deeply personal intertwining with the deeply universal.

[ SM ] While your work is sculptural in form, your choice of materials (bronze, brass, wood) really emanate a richness and warmth that I feel supports that primeval response. How did you settle on your choice of materials? How important were these elements in reflecting your vision?  

[ KVB ] I like to work in additive and reductive materials like wax and clay. These materials lend themselves beautifully for the meditative process of finding forms. They allow you to go too far, make lots of mistakes, and to work, and rework in a very loose and intuitive way. Sometimes, the image that I am trying to create is continuing to emerge during the making process, clay and wax allow you to respond to this process in a very dynamic way. When the final form is achieved it is moulded and cast in brass or bronze. The final casting of the bronze, or turning of the wood, solidifies and seals the search for the form and the meditation of that piece and gives it closure.

[ SM ] I don't mean you make you 'pick between children' but do you have a favorite material or piece? And why does it resonate more deeply than others?

[ KVB ] Clay will always be my first love, it is ancient and the ultimate alchemical material. It is full of contradictions of strength and fragility. From it you can create nearly anything and it responds to the physicality of the body like no other material. You don't see the clay in any of the final pieces but, it is by far the most important material in the process.

[ SM ] Being that this is your inaugural collection, organic in process and artful/timeless in execution, how do you foresee the evolution of your work?

[ KVB ] My new work is growing in scale. Moving to the west coast has afforded me the possibility of this as well as an incredible palette of new fabrication possibilities.

There are some narratives in the earlier work that I am exploring more deeply as well as the new images I am working on. Ultimately, I never really know where the thread will lead.



WORDS | Sanam Miremadi [ ChloeTouran ]

ARTIST | Kristin Victoria Barron of KRIEST 

IMAGES | Kriest