About Ivett...  or „Soul in clay“

Mária Šmihulová


The first time I came across modern ceramic art was 16 years ago when I met Ivett Axamitova. I could simply say delightful, charming – „stillo bello“ beautiful style. It was the first time I met ceramic sculptures and utility ceramics, ceramic images which were created with the process of assemblage (sculptural composition consisting of an arrangement of miscellaneous objects or found materials). Ceramic compositions offered poetry, witticism,wisdom of living courtesy, truth and gentle humor. They offered everything that a valuable piece of  artwork should contain and look like. Perfect harmony of colours, shapes and music in which a musician with huge affection wins each tone. It was no surprise to me that a well known musicologist Etelka Čárska also was enchanted by this art because dynamic and asymetric lines of Axamitova artwork  contained rythm and a hidden melody. Tinsels in paintings and in spatial works gave majesty to ceramic of Ivett Axamitova. It seems that the artist`s work is originated not from Modra manufactory but directly from the French Sévres – prestigious manufactories of Louis XV. After two hundred and fifty years it offers a modern, smart, deeply minded and spiritual „third Rococo“.

Ivett has brought ceramics from the kitchen to the palace. She has uplifted it to the aristocratic status. Therefore in the signature of her artwork she put a royal crown as a seal of the exclusive artistic value of her work. In the 1990s of the last century she could afford it. With her work she could freely play and fulfil her dream of a girl wishing for love, tenderness, kindness and her prince. She could express her faith in God. Some of her sculptures and assemblages were designated for sanctuaries and have become part of their decoration.

Ivett Axamitova just like her artwork has gone through many life changes. She got married, moved her studio to the town of her husband and had a son. Then I watched her artwork only from a distance. She did ceramic assemblage, spatial things from which printed images could be easily used as illustrations in books for children.A child`s face similar to her son was dominant in them. By creating loveable madonnas she showed her happy motherhood. Then Ivett, as an experienced and well known artist in a sacral art was offered to decorate a new church in Topoľčany. What more can an artist wish for? I guess, only health. So, I was very surprised when I heard that Ivett Axamitova is thinking of using other technique in her work- painting on canvas and glass… Yes, artists and their feelings change, so one day they can reject things they were happy about and they start looking for and discovering something new. It is a result of their creative restlessness. Even Piccaso was not happy about painting only on canvas. His famous work include also some ceramics and sculptures made from metal, bronze, wood. From a female point of view I understood Ivett. She looked for an easier and simplier way of her artistic expression. Working with clay is hard physically as well as technically.The work can be compared to any manual labour. I remember once I wrote about Ivett that she is like a worker with clay scent. Ceramic art is  a piece of drudgery. The process starts with bringing the clay, follows by kneading, modelling with hands, sometimes potter`s wheel is used then drying for three weeks, multiple firing, decorating and glazing and final artistic completion. For this whole process of changing the clay to the beauty has the author her own recipe, her own technology which guarantees the best quality of her art. Goethe said that the principle of art is mainly a good craft.

Ivett Axamitova is careful about glass painting, too. Long before painting on special glass she spent time researching and checking. Her paintings on glass, work made with her hands and excellent taste were as always beautiful, full of feelings but I missed plasticity and devotion so typical for clay. Therefore I was very happy to hear that Ivett Axamitova has returned to clay and her new exhibition in Gallery salla terena in Presidential palace will be dedicated entirely to this material.

This exhibition will be her small ceramic and clay comeback. From the very beginning her idea and concept of preparation for the exhibition was clear – to show her art from the most beautiful point of view. She has decided to create pieces of bigger size so one can easily call them ceramic sculptures.Ivett found the inspiration in the small sculptures she made once to enhance the idea in different position. She formed figurative compositions with playfulness and with unusual taste for shape, movement, colours that is so typical for her. In her imagination she was carried away by natural beauty and by beautiful rococo decoration of the galery in Presidential palace because her artwork is made for this space.

Her exhibition is like a small show where imaginary creations, foolish jester play a role. In each episode, from the collections, whether in relief asemblage or sculptures there is life,  tension, human experiences, stories, feelings of joy, frustration, and above all dominated by cross — as memento, as a symbol of the greatest of secrecy: „why are we here and why we have to go away“. Christ on the cross, in his sufferings is formed as gentle as can be done only by a woman. She remindes me of a wounded buterfly.Once I was thinking why Ivett Axamitova, a young and attractive girl, deals with this serious life issues? I understood the moment I visited her. There has been standing (ever since) a stone cross in front of her house in Ivanka by Danube. I understood that cross is the most natural part of her being.The cross and Christ on the cross have always been her guardian and protector. They have been with her also in her mystic creation of art portraying Christ`s message of infinite good and love.

Some experts of art compare the style of Ivett Axamitova to viennese art Nouveau, others compare her asemblage to byzantine mosaic put together from ceramic chips or they see in her pieces breath of antiquity,

One great composer while receiving an award for his production with all his humbleness said that  he got the award for something that had been already here somewhere. He just tried to express the feelings from all his heart, soul, talent and to create something new – his own music, his own style.

The same works in art work, too. So was  established the style of Ivett Axamitova – attractive, detailed, unique.

The exhibition of Ivett Axamitova`s art is a presentation of sophisticated artistic professionalism as well as excellent slovak ceramic art.