Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Johona Mai - A Glass Mosaic Matryoshka


Johona Mai, stained glass mosaic sculpture, 4ft tall by 22"wide/deep, 2017  by Kasia Polkowska and Kyle Cunniff  
 
Johona-Mai, Navajo for Sunny Bright Flower was named to honor the Navajo Nation who's ancestral land we inhabit.  She was created in Alamosa, Colorado - the land of 'Cool Sunshine'.  To reflect our region, we incorporated Southwestern colors, focusing on the bright blue of our big, clear sky and the warm yellow of the ever present sunshine in the San Luis Valley.  Johona-Mai was sculpted by hand and is adorned in a modern, colorful, hand cut stained glass mosaic pattern. Her form originates from Russia, where the first Matryoshka Doll was made and has since become a symbol in Eastern European Culture where Kasia was born.  Today the doll has a place in contemporary pop culture around the world. The form of our doll was kept traditional to inspire the nostalgia one often feels when laying eyes on a nesting doll.  The decorative motif highlights the purity of the form with color, pattern and the innocence of a flower often present on traditional dolls but with a contemporary flair.


Johona Mai set up in Alamosa, among the sagebrush, surrounded by the Sangre De Cristo Mountains

Johona Mai waiting for the sunset.  The photoshoot was set up to highlight Mt Blanca (14,351feet tall) in the background.

The artists, Kasia and Kyle, with the completed collaborative sculpture.  Kyle sculpted the form.  Kasia adorned the form with a hand cut stained glass mosaic.  The artist duo worked on the concept, design and colors together.

Johona Mai set against Mt Blanca watching the sunset over the San Juan Mountains to the West.

Kasia and Johona Mai.  Ever since starting to the concept design for the sculpture in December of 2016, Kasia envisioned taking the doll out to the vast sagebrush fields in the San Luis Valley. 

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