Between Two Rivers by Siba Sahabi

Updated: Jan 28, 2020


Between Two Rivers is the ancient Greek translation of the term Mesopotamia, the cradle of Western civilization and birthplace of the pottery turntable. Through ten sculptural felt vessels Siba makes the connection between this ancient land, located between the rivers with its pottery innovations and Western ceramics culture which developed through these new technologies. The turntable, that aided potters to design circular objects more accurately and faster, was invented in 3500 BC in Ur, an ancient Mesopotamian city state located in modern Iraq. Around 2200 BC this invention was introduced in Greece and thus sparked a new style of Greek ceramics called Minyan pottery which Siba has reinterpreted in her ​​felt sculptures. A circular, ribbed finish is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Minyan ware which reflects its production process on a potter’s turntable.

Although the turntable no longer plays a significant role in the production of modern large scale pottery today, the appearance of hand turned ceramics is often imitated by producing circular shapes with fine ridges. The objects from the collection, that comprise a series of carafes are made from coiled coloured felt strips (3mm thick) coated with a layer of paint on both sides. In this way, each object shows three colours: the original colour of the felt (surface of the ridges), the inside, and outside of the objects. The dense felt material beautifully translates the heavy appearance of the Minyan ware and exaggerates the appearance of the oversized objects, some of which are up to 50cm high.