Alexei Vella is an interdisciplinary artist, working as an illustrator in the commercial arts industry. Alexei also produces sculptural work, which delves into themes of a personal nature. Although Alexei is adamant that his personal work is about the universal experiences of the human condition and not about his physical challenges, it is hard to separate his unique subject position from his work; this subject position being the diagnosis of Duchene Muscular Dystrophy at an early age.
The Vessel, is a work that explores the concept ‘body as container’ – directly commenting on the value of the body and what it may or may not contain.
The Vessel is a sculpture created with polymer clay, it is housed in a canister made from re-appropriated hardware, acrylic tubing and acrylic rod.
The dimensions for the sculpture are 2.25 inches by 1.5 inches. The dimensions for the canister are 16 inches high by 2.5 inches wide. The Vessel is a cylindrical canister made from a clear plastic tube and two larger black caps. The canister is hung vertically from the wall by a hook. The canister houses a cylindrical black sculpture. This black sculpture is dwarfed in comparison to the size of the canister, the canister as if acting as a form protection from the outside world. There is however something unique about this sculpture, it appears to be levitating within the canister. The Vessel attempts to comment on the artist’s belief that “Although the body provides us with a physical essence required to exist and acts as a form of protection from the outside world, it can also be a very limiting aspect to existence.”