Nelia Justo employs a range of methods and materials in her work to produce sculptural garments and installations that engage in a dialogue between the East and West; between the language of decorative arts and electronic technologies.
Particular interest lies in the historical trade of cultural goods (such as cotton, silk, porcelain) and how they have inspired the design, styles and production of cultural artefacts in the West over many centuries. Though her work references historical decorative arts in a broad sense, emphasis predominantly lies in historical textile design and production, focusing on the cultural, technological and political environment in which they were produced. Contemporary electronic technologies have often been incorporated into her work, referencing today’s booming trade in electronic consumer goods and manufactured components. Her work is literally brought to life, as electronic systems merge symbiotically with decorative elements to create poetic artworks.
For Vivid Ideas, Nelia presents two garments. The first, inspired by Bauhaus costume design and origami. features a crystalline structure of tetrahedral forms, accompanied by an iridescent cape with raised scales. An LED matrix which runs across the dress and cape brings the ensemble to life, as a bioluminescent system. The second garment is a collision of folded angles, planes and curves which fuse together in the phosphorescence of UV light emanating from within the garment.