The Bulgarian artist, based in London and New York, Ida Ivanka Kubler has made over 40 artworks from The Birth of an Idea series with the use of a very unusual raw material: silk cocoons. They are found in homes all over the World: in the UK, Guernsey, France, Spain, Germany, India, Norway and the US.
The first piece from the series was born in 2010 in London’s Chelsea College of Art and Design in Pimlico next door to Tate Britain. It was commissioned by the Chelsea college library.
Why do people go to libraries? To get inspired with their work; to get assistance in life dilemmas. The artwork had to be abstract and draw people and make the visitors fall in love with it. Something universal that each individual understood. So the artist decided to create something tactile and something unfolding with positive emotions like light, hope, openness, rebirth and warmth.
Ivanka Kubler found in her grand-grand parents’ house a bag with around four hundred cocoons, which then decided to use for the project. She sculptured each cocoon individually with six “wings” looking like an open hand (arm with five fingers). Some people interpreted it as a flower. The first solo show featuring the Birth of an Idea series was at the Westbourne Grove Church Artspace in Notting Hill. The show was so well-received that Ivanka Kubler was encouraged to bring it to other major cities.
In summer 2015, Ida established her studio in Manhattan, and attracted an enormous interest. Allie O’Hanley, director of Rxhibition, and her team, were one of the first visitors and commissioned straight away a project based on the Birth of an Idea principles. O’Hanley comments: “We aim to transform the treatment area into a beautiful and creative haven, a place where patients and their families can heal together. We were struck by Ida’s work immediately as it truly embodies our exhibition through the themes of the cocoon as a retreat and the natural renewal processes of metamorphosis.”
Rxhibition is a non-profit organization with the mission to ameliorate the healing process within chemotherapy treatment areas using art, music, and exhibition design. The artwork will contain around 500 cocoons. 500 people will be involved in the creating of the artwork and each cocoon will have the name of the participant inscribed. The colours are bright cadmium yellow (which symbolises strength) in the middle and king’s blue (which symbolises communication) in the background. And with 100 x 50 inch (2.50 x 1.25 metres) size this will be the largest artwork from this series so far.
Words Lorenzo Belenguer /Photo Jen Evans and Ida Ivanka Kubler © artlyst 2016