What can't be seen - Leana Kasapis

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Leana Kasapis

The Iranian tile, along with the the caption about geometric patterns & wooden window panels (moucharabiehs) in the Islamic Middle-East section, are what inspired this necklace.

My background is in mathematics and the descriptions intrigued me to decipher how the geometric patterns were built. My own research took me down a very linear path and my Morley tutors pushed me to think larger & broader as well as to model in non-traditional materials such as sticks & glue gun, cardboard, paint, strings…

This was by far the most challenging project I’ve worked on while on the course, but also the most rewarding. My experience with adult education in jewellery has been primarily about gaining hard skills (soldering, stone setting, wax carving, …), but this project forced me to take a step back from the making and start with the more abstract, and in some ways so much more emotionally demanding, design development.

I was drawn to the deep Cobalt blue of the Iranian tile, which I mirrored in the use of deep blue perspex and lapis lazuli beads. The description of its construction also intrigued me, with the term “cuerda seca” or dry rope, leading me to attempt to replicate it with nylon cord. I found the result so appealing, I decided to make it a feature with neon orange, rather than hide it.

The moucharabiehs inspired me to delve into the concept of transparency and to “see but stay unseen”. I have used transparent blue & clear perspex and cut-out shapes in the larger star, which allow the cord to be seen, as well as mirror perspex so the person looking at the necklace can see themselves reflected.

Guidance from my tutors and discussions with my fellow students at Morley were invaluable in working through the design and making.

What can't be seen - Leana Kasapis

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:




ca. 1444


V&A collection reference number(s):
C 747-1909

Exhibition Guide

Please wait