Ioanna Sakellaraki: The Seven Circuits of a Pearl I, 2023


From The Seven Circuits of a Pearl
Judges Pick!

12×10 inch
Darkroom c-type print
Time-limited edition
[Available until 1 January 2024]
Accompanied a signed certificate of authenticity from the gallery and by signed artist label.

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OD Photo Prize 2023 | Judges Pick

“The Seven Circuits of a Pearl takes so many facets and mixes them together in a poignant, moving, intelligent and informed way creating a beautiful blend of photographic skill and emotion. The project is highly personal blending photographic and mixed media which beautifully aligns the artists journey from her Greek home to Australia, with the journeys of her late father and his life as a sailor, and the journey of the treasured pearl. Her use of archival reflection places the pearl at the heart of this project which allows her to explore not only relationships within her own family, but that of empire and marine ecology creating a wide reaching and intelligent outcome.” – Tracy Marshall-Grant

Selected by Tracy Marshall-Grant
Arts Director, Curator & Producer

Ioanna Sakellaraki [b.1989] is a Greek visual artist and researcher currently working across Australia and Europe. Her work investigates the relationship between collective cultural memory and fiction. Drawing emphasis on the photographic object, process and encounter, she explores the boundaries of a primitive, yet futuristic vision of places and people.

Artist Statement | The Seven Circuits of a Pearl is a photographic and mixed media odyssey through the ruinous discoveries in my personal family history and the one of Australia’s pearling disasters exploring how witnessing through interrupted material in the archive can enable a series of correspondences between personal and collective histories of loss and their making into new temporal and material forms. The story begins with my relocation to Australia and my exploration of the faraway Western coast, where the Indian Ocean meets the Great Sandy Desert, and where for thousands of years, pearls have been treasured, sought, bought and stolen.

Like another living vessel of refracted time and memory, the archive of the journeys for pearls sails me back to the journeys of my late father as seen through his own personal archives during his time as a sailor in the faraway lands he explored. Driven by curiosity and captivated by the trove of an image of a woman with a pearl necklace found in them, I begin the journey towards the painful discovery of my father’s ex-wife and mother of a half-brother I have never met. A journey of multiple paths of deception, the topology of the plot borrows from the archetype of the seven-circuit Cretan being suggestive of the different narrative twists and crossings until the moment of discovery; the final central nucleus of the story.

Maritime disasters, archeological, personal and missing evidence, become the thread between visual and textual material from museum collections, journals, diaries and memoirs researched, and further re-imagined though the mixed-media works produced, aiming at creating an inter-relational space amongst the fragments of a larger narrative progressing from an investigative to a more metaphorical and esoteric resolution. In a parallel way, I reflect on the multifaceted and multimodal exchange, trade and commodification of pearls in relation to broader histories of empire, labour management and marine ecology, questioning not only whether humans exist in relation to history, but instead how to access and write the history of this relationship in contemporary art as an emergent response to a personal and cultural heritage in crisis.” — Ioanna Sakellaraki

IMAGE DESCRIPTION | This image is an impression of the numerous shipwrecks caused by tropical cyclones while the pearling fleet was out in the sea with divers and crew risking their lives. More specifically, it refers to the great cyclone on Eighty- Mile Beach, off Broome, Western Australia, that took place between 26- 27 April 1908, and during which 44 luggers were lost, one of which was called Anna like my father’s ex- wife. The shipwreck frame takes place within an archival image of the largest recorded Pearl Shell in human history.


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Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 35 × 35 × 4 cm
Choose your print option

12×10" print, 12×10" print [FRAMED]