Natalia Triantafylli | Not Applicable


Natalia Triantafylli © courtesy of the artist

What do we need to know about the work you are exhibiting at Not Applicable?

The exhibited work consists of three distinct but yet related studies, both reflecting on the complexity of function as notion as well as the way different ontologies shape the way we interpret purpose when it comes to material culture. Through a process of decontextualisation and material reappropriation I wish to spark a dialogue between forgotten rituals, curiosities, and contemporary commodities.


How do you interpret the term ‘Not Applicable’? 

My background is in design where the pursuit for the purposeful and the ‘Applicable’ sounds about right. However when a system operates flawlessly it often ‘disappears’ until a disruption reminds us our dependency on the system at the first place; and it is unquestionable that currently the world is experiencing major disruptions. Through my work I wish to create ‘glitches’ that will reveal the wonder of the overlooked and enable us to ‘break out’ by being present at the same time.


How do you choose the themes in your works?

I would always get attached to ‘things’ and my practice very much embodies that attitude. Through my work I investigate how attributions related to additional value reform through the prism of time and context. I draw inspiration from various encounters with ‘things’; historical artifacts in museum collections, commodities arrayed in dollar shops, personal items of my immediate surroundings etc. Objects have a great power to embody abstract notions about established human behaviours, thus I use them as ‘icons’ ready to be repurposed in order to create new wholes of meaning.

Natalia Triantafylli © courtesy of the artist

What’s the best part about your practice?

The epiphanies I experience through the creative process, these ‘aha!’ moments when two seemingly unrelated topics make perfect sense together are what keep me going.


Are there any strong realisations during the pandemic?

That we don’t give ourselves enough credit.


What’s a non-negotiable in your life and way of working?

The moment I make a determinate statement I immediately find myself in doubt. I would say embracing flux should be non-negotiable, but again I feel this is contradicting to its core.


What does colour mean to your art?

I mainly approach colour as texture. My pallet is an archive of material explorations, from glaze tests, ready-made objects to light plays.


How is an artist copping through the pandemic?

I don't know how an artist deals with the situation however I found myself struggling to seperate my life and my work. Apart from the evident difficulty to differentiate a break from a breakdown there were times where the setting of the home was the only theme I could bring up in my research. 

For a lot of people expressing their struggles into their work is a way to cope with a situation though for me it is perhaps too early to transform this ongoing experience into a ‘project’. However I have learned to be more resourceful and self-sufficient, qualities that are fundamental both to the creative process and as an outlook on life.


What's next for 2021-22?

Currently I am in the final year of my MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art, thus I am working towards my final project for the graduation show that will take place this June. At the same time I am still working on evolving the collections presented in this exhibition while I am experimenting with ways of scaling up my work by incorporating less tangible mediums of synthesis and expression.

Natalia Triantafylli © courtesy of the artist


Follow on Instagram @nataliatriantafylli

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