It takes millennia for a glacier to form, and it moves at an extremely slow pace, imperceptible to the human eye. Nikos Tranos’ interest in the notion of time and its continuous, eternal flow is visualised in this work, which bears the title A glacier at our table. The work consists of a complex layering of dissimilar organic, abstract and anthropomorphic
shapes in fired clay, glazed in pink, which stand atop a simple domestic table in suffocating density.
This seemingly chaotic agglomeration of strange but also almost recognisable shapes and forms seems to posit nature versus culture. It resembles a Darwinian catalogue of petrified life forms, from Cambrian marine fossils and prehistoric vegetation to present-day birds, donkeys and elephants, all somewhat deformed, and displayed with a great amount of humour and fantasy. At the same it suggests a dense quasi-urban landscape consisting of weird shaped towers and skewed
strange buildings that sometimes tend towards the anthropomorphic. The furniture functions as a third level of meaning and it imbues the sculpture with a kind of domesticity, bringing it back within the realm
of our everyday experience. The overall image of the sculpture brings to mind the function of the human recollection of time, and the advent of human civilisation and its material effects as juxtaposed with nature. As an ensemble, it alludes to a kind of post-apocalyptic scenario, which intimates the futility of our own existence in relation to infinity,
but also the potential for regeneration. On one level, the work has a dystopic dimension, which infers to man’s catastrophic presence on the planet, but at the same time it also seems to point to a strong and
optimistic consciousness of constant renewal and rebirth, both in terms of the natural world as well as in the cultured life of human kind.