Vessel Gallery London - Contemporary Art-Glass Sculpture and Decorative Art. Exhibitions, Sales and Commissions.




Unique installation


H 300 cm W 320 cm D 40 cm


White St.Thomas clay with stoneware glazes




'Consciousness’ is a unique installation by the British artist, Nicholas Arroyave-Portela.

Please contact the gallery for the price of the full installation. The artist can also work to commission to create smaller compositions, groups and long runs of unique hand thrown forms.

Consciousness | A Personal Interpretation of The Mayan Long Count Calendar | A countdown to December 21st/22nd 2012 | The Journey so far...............

The Mayan Long Count Calendar was how the unfolding of time, over a period of just over 5125 solar years, was marked by the Mayans. It was believed to have ended around December 21st 2012, a date we have now very much passed. 

The artist’s intention is to recreate their own interpretation of this 'long count calendar' by reproducing an installation of 13 rows of 20 thrown vessels, 260 in total. Made in close and tight proximity to the next and representing roughly 19.7 years each.

Arroyave-Portela has also purposely altered the height and volume of the pieces following the Fibonacci code for the numbers 13 and 20. An example of this sequence would be: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 etc. Essentially, the next number is created by the sum of the two previous. The Fibonacci number sequences can be found everywhere in nature, from the leaf arrangements in plants, to the pattern of the florets of a flower, the bracts of a pinecone or the scales of a pineapple. The numbers are therefore applicable to the growth of every living thing, including a single cell, a grain of wheat, a hive of bees and even all of mankind.

The 13 rows of this piece are therefore made up of 8 rows of vessels of one height and 5 rows of vessels of a different height perhaps suggesting a sense of gravitational weight. Of the 20 vessels in each row, 10 are of a certain volume, 6 of another and 4 of another still, a pattern that is reproduced throughout the whole work in order to represent a sense of rhythm. The aim is to give a visual reference to one of the main themes of the piece, which is a sense of time getting faster and faster as we approach the last day of the calendar. 

Many of the apocalyptic interpretations of the Mayan Calendar have gained much infamy. However, for the artist, this is the source of his fascination and intrigue, reimagining the calendar as a vehicle to explore the notion of cycles, their beginnings and their ends. 

The full artist's essay can be read here.

Nicholas Arroyave-Portela