In her more than half-century exploration of the artistic object, Eleni Vernadaki showed us its multiple identities. Coexisting in her ceramic objects are plasticity of form, tactility and materiality, as well as aesthetics, and emotional and intellectual parameters. Constantly trying out new formal and technical solutions, she approached every object as a distinct field of artistic study and as an autonomous artistic work.
Committed to the principle of modernism where it is form that is of primary importance rather than the decoration of fairly standardized objects, she worked boldly, sometimes aggressively, on form, starting from a morphological reflection and the examination of the dialectic between form, material and technique, without yielding to the shape “imposed” by any probable use of an item. Furthermore, the way she handled the material and the enhanced tactile nature of her ceramics reveal not only technical expertise but also recognition of the ceramic object as a means of connecting each of us with earth/nature. Ultimately, she managed to incorporate the fine artistic ceramic object into the ritual of the everyday.
In her declaration “my work is making objects and I think that by doing so I have managed to get my ideology across to a wider public”, is reflected a fundamental theoretical principle about art and its social role, on which Vernadaki based her work. It is an ideology – a clear position on the importance of the ingress of art into everyday life. Vernadaki herself was never interested in being called anything other than a ceramicist – her self-identification as “just a potter” is typical. Persistently, however, and effectively, she worked with the aim of demonstrating methods that elevate ceramic art and the handmade ceramic object to something of artistic value in its own right.